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  • Nathan Yoder

Recommended Listening: Gerycz/Powers/Rolin - Lamplighter

I'm not sure exactly why, but to me, American Primitive guitar-style music (and broader New Acoustic noodling) feels very autumnal. Maybe that Master of None scene where Dev and Francesca frolic through Storm King, kicking leaves and shit while Sunflower River Blues plays in the background has been burned into my brain. Maybe I've seen Doug Martsch perform Now You Know cuts in October too many times. Who knows why, but I turn into this guy whenever artist decides to drop into an open tuning.

Now to be clear, Jayson Gerycz, Jen Powers, and Matthew J. Rolin's jamming is not that Faheyesque, but there are elements of his classic sound in the trio's new album, Lamplighter. Rolin's propulsive guitar, Powers' dulcimer drones, and Gerycz's free drumming combine to form a swirling psychedelic cacophony, beautiful and bright. And sure, Lamplighter may be coming out as summer fades into fall, temperatures gradually dropping and days slowly darkening, but Gerycz/Powers/Rolin's energetic collaboration emanates a shining brilliance.

Jayson Gerycz, Jen Powers, Matthew J. Rolin by Matthew Chasney

About halfway into Lamplighter's opening track, Rotations, you can tell the album is going to be special. Rolin's strums are the first notes you hear, But Powers and Gerycz quickly jump aboard, adding their layers to the mix. The roar achieved by the end of Rotations carries into track two - Blink. It should be noted that what you hear on Lamplighter is almost entirely improvised, and the energy between the three musicians is palpable. On side A, especially, you can feel the players' shared joy rooted in the act of spontaneous creation.

Side B opens with June - the album's lead single and by far the most traditional construction. It's this writer's personal favorite, too. I like a good freewheeling jam, sure, but this tight lil three-minute ditty hits just right. June (like its title) is springy, sounding all fresh and new. Definitely more green than gold, so maybe I need to work on rewiring the season-to-genre section of my brain. In any case, it's a great moment on the album.

Lamplighter is out on September 3rd (a Bandcamp Friday!) via American Dreams Records. Find it through this link on that date, and give the trio's five shimmering songs a deep listen. You'll enjoy this one, I'm sure of it.


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