Bill Orcutt

Odds Against Tomorrow

BY Nilan PereraPublished Nov 21, 2019

Bill Orcutt's distinctive Americana take on guitar balances the ornery axes of John Fahey, Thurston Moore and collaborator Alan Licht. The music is wide-ranging and very well-executed, with basically a Telecaster guitar gritting  through a Fender twin amp, with a looper occasionally making an appearance.
It's a curious mix of romantic lyricism (still pushed to the edge with slight distortion) as exemplified by the slight jazz inflection of "Man Dies," country-folk musings on the title track and the brittle spasms that populate "The Sun and Its Horizon."
They also pretty much occur in the same piece, as if tracking a conflicted state of mind. There is also a vibrato-drenched version of "Moon River" that seems more of an afterthought than a statement, but even that hangs in the air quite well. There is some pretty astonishing virtuosity as well as clear thought, and that's what sets this record and Orcutt apart from the excesses of technique. The man makes music as well as notes.

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