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P. G. Six - The Well of Memory CD (album) cover

THE WELL OF MEMORY

P. G. Six

 

Prog Folk

5.00 | 1 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
5 stars PG6's second album, The Well Of Memory is, incredibly enough, an improvement over his debut solo effort Parlor Tricks And Porch Favorites, even though it was regarded as an icon in Pagan/Wyrd/freak folk circles. Gubler took three years to follow up on Parlor, and indeed the results are definitely convincing, as Well is an amazing cross of dronal music, with pure folk and some medieval influences. While I would certainly not call PG6 derivative, TWOM has Bert Jansch written all over it, not least induced by Pat's superb voice, and this is a high compliment!! The album was again released by Amish records and graced by Christine Kroll's collage artworks already seen in the debut album and these very same collages will be the center of PG6's next album, through an exhibition: The Sherman Box Series.

Right from the echo-laden harp strummings, the listener is pleasantly chilled with the eerie ambiances pervading and oozing through every pore of your speaker membrane. The slow start of the title track's first part seems made to test your patience, but it slowly evolves into a sometimes atonal pickings over dronal layers covering the track like on a foggy reef-laden seacoast. When the mesmerizing lead-off track segues to the evolving Come In /The Winter It Is Past, there is a banjo picking (a cross of Bert Jansch meeting Woven Hand) shifting slowly and effortlessly into a guitar-lead trad folk that could easily be attributed to The Pentangle. The traditional Old Man On The Mountain is just adding more enchantment, and if not groundbreaking, it is certainly very British evoking.

Other later (and also shorter) tracks are sometimes intrinsically tied, as the short Harp Tune has the harp segueing into the vocal-only Evening Comes. With the delightful guitar arpeggios of Crooked Way, comes out for a second appearance, Helen Rush and her filtered dreamy voice will contrast so perfectly with Gubler's that again you'd swear you're transported back some 35 years. A stunning electric guitar feast is highlighting Considering The Lateness Of The Hour and ends abruptly to let the weaker track, the electric guitar-driven Three Stages Of A Band, with a repeated riff and book-ended by acoustic intro/outro.

The second part of the title track is again relying on misty banks of drone sounds, often atonal with his usual string instruments piercing uselessly the fog with a knife as the mist reforms as soon as the blade is gone. The album closes on the intimate Weeping Willow, where Helen Rush helps out vocally once more, but it is also fairly insignificant after hearing the whole album. Gubler toils away slowly (away from public exposure pressures), transmuting craft practice into artisan design, stealthily worrying away at musical arrangements for yet accessible songs.

TWOM is a stunning album that belongs in Folk Rock's history and the strange artwork collages of the booklet only add to its mysterious charm. While not really groundbreaking, per se, TWOM is certainly using enough avant-garde spirit and techniques, which every progheads must at least hear a few times before dying. Their lives simply wouldn't complete without being familiar to PG6.

Sean Trane | 5/5 |

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