Dirt and the Skirt The Adventures of Captain Dirt and the Skirt
Published May 28, 2013This highly skilled duo of Kristin Sweetland and Lyndell Montgomery — with some fine guesting by the likes of Gary Craig on drums, Ken Whitely on accordion and mandolin and a host of others — have created a big, lush album that would make a fine soundtrack for a Sundance indie film. With few vocals and no lyrics, the musicians' skills shine in these gypsy-jazz Ry Cooder-esque spacious compositions. Classical Spanish guitar begets a surf groove, and musical wanking is kept thoroughly in check in such tunes as "Soul Captain."
These players deserve respect for their chops and good sense in letting the melody, and not their egos, shine through the performances. This is road trip music for those reflective moments watching the world pass by your window, or for doing fine motor skill tasks that leave the imagination unfettered. It would also shine as the track to a great dinner party.
The only complaint one could have is that producer David Travers-Smith could have pulled back on the digital delay and phasers, especially in "Les and the 30 Heads," though he is to be commended for the strong mix and spatial representation. The latter few tracks, while more maudlin than the top, offer a few gems. "Hello Sailor" is quite lovely, as is "Hymn For The Small," and though nylon string guitars can waltz too closely to muzak, the boundaries here are well skirted. (Arbora Vita Music)