Danny Paul Grody - Furniture Music (2014)

Songs awash in warm melody, deft musicianship, and ambient hypnosis populate the latest albums from Danny Paul Grody, with often little more than his acoustic guitar achieving these heights.  A founding member of instrumental masters Tarentel and the jazzy, atmospheric The Drift, his solo music has taken the minimal, circular, and trancelike aspects of his previous work and boiled them down to their essential elements, but with a newly inspired sound.  These records are largely within the vein of American Primitivism, with spacious patterns of fingerpicked guitar, but Grody's particular treatment gives the genre a dreamy sound like no other.  His most recent album, Furniture Music, is his most stripped down yet; just simply beautiful songs and a feeling like these sounds and moods were ever-present in the world and Grody simply had the ear and ability to make them manifest.  Read his description for his inspiration behind it.  His other albums are similarly high quality, but fans of this John Fahey post may enjoy this the most.

Listen and support.

Slowreader - Slowreader (2002)

The first things I loved about Slowreader were the fantastic vocal melodies and their rhythmic sensibilities, the kind that make you move your head even in spots when there is no percussion, but as their lyrics became clearer with more listens, the more I realized these guys had a rare ability to perfectly mix bittersweet pain and regret, slyly dry humor and self-deprecation, and subtle turns of phrasing with their unique blend of mostly acoustic jams, ethereal keyboard pieces, bare bones songs, and melodic pop compositions.  That is the roundabout way of saying this is strong songwriting all around, and, although it's their only release, an album that endures as a result.

Drink this in.

John Fahey - The Dance of Death & Other Plantation Favorites (1964)


Taking traditional American folk, bluegrass, and blues influences and expanding their possibilities with his own original, melodic, and increasingly intricate fingerpicking and slide guitar techniques, John Fahey laid the foundation for what would become known as American Primitivism, referring to the self-taught and innovative take on the American musical tendencies of the period between the early 20th and late 19th centuries.  This early steel-string acoustic album of his only begins to hint at the level of dissonance, experimentation, and spacey arrangements and textures Fahey would eventually bring to his work, while still remaining a blend of traditional styles, classical composition, and Fahey's own signature imprint.  The last four tracks were not on the original release, but added to this reissue of the album.

Dance the dance.

Jorge Ben - Força Bruta (1970)

An effortless mix of bossa nova, samba, and acoustic swing, this gem of an album from Brazilian giant Jorge Ben Jor is simultaneously an invitation to chill out while soaking in a sunset and to get up and dance, even if you're physically incapable.  From the pitch perfect opening, the playful soothing of "Charles Junior," to the more percussive "Apareceu Aparecida," and finally the assertive closing, the album lives up to its name, 'Brute Force'; obviously not through aggression, but through such a vulgar display of sheer talent and quality.

Hear some.

Have some.