Chris Bathgate/Hezekiah Jones
The Asheville Squints
Barely half a year since the release of his most recent EP Wait Skeleton, Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Chris Bathgate is back with another release. This time he’s teamed up with Philadelphia’s Hezekiah Jones for a split 7”.
While folk rock is the easiest genre label to thrust on Bathgate, the dusty high desert sounds sweeping through his track “Own Design” are rife with the ebb and flow of experimentation. The song keeps things simple, but still spans the distance between intimate and soaring. Very few instruments are used but those that are build in sound and evaporate in whisper to fill in silences. It’s a pretty gorgeous turn.
Hezekiah Jones’ contribution is more straightforward but equally as enjoyable. “I’ve Got a Little Room (Cannonball)” is a shuffling piano vamp that gains instrumental strength, blooming into a drunken sailor’s waltz. Singer Raphael Cutrufello’s tenor croons out an invitation to join him on a downward spiral with a hellfire ending. Think Tom Waits at his most playful and least obscure and you’re getting close.
Neither of these acts are household names at this point, but The Asheville Squints is a worthwhile stop in these two acts’ trek to put their own modest stamp on folk music.
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