I’m pleased to share this live document of my performance at The Burlington in Chicago, IL earlier this year, where I shared a bill with Scott Cortez and Zelienople. Recorded using guitar, mini-cassette, laptop and electronics, this performance was captured direct from the board and only edited for length and volume.
Thanks to Caleb Condit for the photo.
In many ways, “What Happens When We Stop” is not what it seems. On initial appearance, the album is improvised acoustic music built on rural motifs, but once you dig deeper into the new album from Andrew Weathers Ensemble the truths become more elusive and interesting. Recorded in urban settings on both US coasts, “What Happens When We Stop” includes digital manipulation and granular cut ups — not to mention the autotune and pitch shifting on “Hard, Ain’t it Hard.” Wandering acoustic jams, caustic blues patterns, and thick layers of drone all play a large part in the album, but techniques are co-opted from sound collage and even hip-hop to create a detailed musical hybrid. In the end, “What Happens When We Stop” is a rich, alluring album which reaches a confluence of styles and approaches that are both contemporary and ancient and driven as much by ensemble work as that of one mind. - Ryan Potts, Experimedia
Andrew Weathers Ensemble – What Happens When We Stop 7.9
Andrew Weathers Ensemble makes the experimental emotive. Throughout ‘What Happens When We Stop’ the experimental impulses compliment the natural charm of the sound. Guitars add to this folksy feeling. Classical instruments bring the two elements together serving as a bridge. Aspects of this are highly reminiscent of Gastr del Sol’s work. Like Gastr del Sol, Andrew Weathers Ensemble wants to make the accessible lovelier. To this end, the album succeeds beautifully. Combined with simple vocals the songs transcend and become something bigger than the sum of their parts.
‘House Carpenter (Tanaka)’ begins it with a sustained drone. Eventually through the song’s progression pieces of melody make their way through all the sound, rising to the top. One of the highlights ‘O/OU (Ensemble)’ takes the approach even further making the natural sounds feel more in control. For this song the elements appear to be more acoustic and less treated. By the time of the guitar the group feels closer to a rustic sensibility. ‘Mojave Layers’ veers closer towards a more classical approach. Tempos are slowed down. Silence is used as a form of tension. Considerably quieter than what proceeded it the sounds are given plenty of breathing room.
For the closer ‘Honest Woman Blues’ Andrew Weathers Ensemble appears to channel John Fahey’s vision of ‘American Primitive’. The sounds are wholesome. Even the treatments of the sound (there are electronic manipulations) feel appropriate. ‘What Happens When We Stop’ manages transcend the limitations of folk and experimental to create something thoroughly unique.
Looking forward to this show tomorrow night. It’s always a pleasure to share the stage with friends, and both Mr. Pioulard and Lake Mary are fine company in that regard. If you’re near Boulder or Denver this weekend, come through and say hello!
Windy City soundcheck… (at The Burlington)
Some kind words about Tim Feeney’s Weakness in Tiny Mix Tapes
“In the end, this is 16 pages and 42 minutes of deep shit, so don’t waste it by doing chores or texting your crush while this plays in the background. Give it your undivided attention to reassure Feeney and yourself.”