Alvarius B Alvarius B

Alan Bishop has always walked a few strides ahead of his time, whether he’s thrashing out with experimental purveyors Sun City Girls or doing his own variable thing — more often than not incognito as a rustic backwoods guitar-plucking wanderer. Alvarius B, Bishop’s solo pseudonym, has seen some wearing and tearing of the American dream throughout the years, and his ten fingers and six strings couldn’t have expressed his disdainful feelings clearer than on the raw instrumental recordings found on his 1994 self-titled solo debut. Captured on various portable cassette decks throughout the years 1981to ’89, the 32 tracks on Alvarius B range between blissfully detuned ragas for the contemplative self, beautiful emotional song-impressions that echo like cinematic memories of landscapes, and sporadic spasms of improvised acoustic freaking. A far cry from the gravelly-voiced hobo stomps he’s currently booting out as Alvarius B, this reissued debut has more in common with the current-swimming folk trends of the Jewelled Antler Collective and even early Devendra Banhart, but of course, Bishop just keeps walking far ahead of the madding crowds. May the dues he earned in the past catch up with him now, and stay with him always. (Pixar/Buena Vista)