Tunesmith Retrofit CD (2006)

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Product Overview

Throughout his career, Kelly Joe Phelps has garnered a wealth of praise for his guitar work. But with his new album, Tunesmith Retrofit, he is sure to be revered not just a great musician, but as an outstanding songwriter as well. The album showcases Phelps at the peak of his songwriting powers, tackling engaging story songs and soul-baring ballads with equal aplomb in a bare-bones, stripped-back setting. Tunesmith Retrofit's musical depth and poetic charm will undoubtedly expose this gifted artist to an even larger audience.


Label Rounder / Umgd
SKU 202772220
UPC 011661324923
UPC 14 00011661324923
Format CD
Release Date 8/1/2006
Author Kelly Joe Phelps
Featuring Chris Gestrin
Featuring Jesse Zubot
Featuring Kelly Joe Phelps
Featuring Steve Dawson
Artist Bio
Kelly Joe PhelpsAs a tunesmith, Kelly Joe Phelps already has a proven track record, with a catalogue of original songs infused with what The Washington Post calls ?poignancy, passion and spirituality.? But on his sixth studio album, the Portland, Oregon-based musician still felt the need to retrofit new elements into his songwriting. ?Part of it is shifting focus, away from music heavily driven by guitar to music that?s more driven by the song,? explains Phelps. ?The record is stripped back in relation to the last two studio efforts, balancing combinations of solo, duo, trio and quartet and bridging the gap between my early solo recordings and later band outings.?Tunesmith Retrofit, his Rounder Records debut, is the latest step in the evolution of a consummate artist. Phelps launched his recording career in his early 30s, after immersing himself in Miles Davis, John Coltrane and free improvisation and then discovering the blues of Skip James, Robert Pete Williams and Mississippi Fred McDowell. His first three albums, Lead Me On, Roll Away the Stone and Shine Eyed Mister Zen, featured just Phelps on guitar and vocals, performing a mix of traditional and original songs. With 2001?s Sky Like a Broken Clock, he moved to strictly original compositions, adding bassist Larry Taylor (Canned Heat, Tom Waits) and drummer Billy Conway (Morphine). Slingshot Professionals, another album of all-Phelps material, added renowned guitarist Bill Frisell and three Canadian musicians: slide guitarist Steve Dawson, fiddler-mandolinist Jesse Zubot and keyboardist Chris Gestrin.The talents of Dawson, Zubot, and Gestrin show up again on Tunesmith Retrofit. Zubot?s fiddle solo imbues the mellifluous opener, ?Crow?s Nest,? a song about being open and honest, with an unmistakable warmth. Dawson lends a haunting tremolo weissenborn and pedal steel to ?Spanish Hands,? while Gestrin provides organ to ?The Anvil? and an eerie melodica to ?Big Shakey.? Phelps? music comes alive thanks to masterful musicianship and superb songwriting. Nowhere is that more apparent than on Tunesmith Retrofit, an album of musical depth and poetic charm that seems destined to bring this gifted artist the larger audience he deserves.
Product Attributes
Artist Phelps,Kelly Joe
Label Philo Records/rounder Records
Music Format Compact Disc
Bill Frisell An inspiration to me.
Tim O'Brien His music is a wide world with three hundred and sixty degrees of influence...

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