Devendra Banhart

Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon

Image of Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
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Devendra Banhart has emerged as one of the most fascinating, unpredictable and inspiring artists of his generation. For the writing and recording of "Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon" Banhart set up housekeeping in a rustic hillside home in the longstanding bohemian enclave of Topanga, North of Los Angeles. Basic tracks were laid down using a core lineup of Banhart (guitar, piano, Cuatro, psaltery), Georgeson (zither, guitar, backing vocals, Hammond B-3, bass, et al), Luckey Remington (bass, guitar, background singing, water drum and freedom chime), Greg Rogove (drums, tablas, supporting vocals, geese and duck calls, pots and pans, mop stomp), and Pete Newsom (piano, keyboards, backing vox). The other musical contributors being Rodrigo Amarante (from Brasil's Los Hermanos on guitar and harmony vocals), Andy Cabic (guitar, vocal support) and Otto Hauser (drums). Where Devendra's previous album "Cripple Crow" sounded like Devendra trading licks with a never ending caravan of passing musical gypsies, "Smokey…" is very much the work of a band. The vocal arrangements are noticeably more intricate and ambitious with lush harmonies running through many of these numbers. The instrumental performances are comfortably loose but in-the-pocket - a rich blend of acoustic and electric guitars, understated drumming and gentle percussion, diffident bass and a variety of downhome keyboards, subtly coloured with the occasional lightest touch of strings or woodwinds.

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