Whatever Abe Coley doespainting, re-purposing or making musicit always seems fun and subversive. The local artist's new Americana instrumental album, Cabin Recordings 2011 (recently on KBGA radio's top 30), is easy to listen to but not coddling. Zealous finger-picking on homemade guitars and unbridled beating on homemade drums provide a wild, ramshackle texture. Coley recorded the songs in his cabin up Pattee Canyon between May and December 2011, and each song is named after its recording date.
One, from September 14, is ambient and pensive, like it's made for a Hal Hartley film, but with less cerebral intentions. Songs fall apart at the seams and then are deftly sewn back together. A September 24 track mixes swampy blues with a bass-line reminiscent of a Johnny Cash song. Was the song from September 26 recorded in a deep dark well? The air (or is it feedback?) and guitar taps and rustlings are amplified with a lo-fi lusciousness that would make a Dolby apprentice drool with delight. One song incorporates electronic blips and glitches. One you could rhumba to. Another reminds me of bagpipes, despite their absence. You could listen to this like it's high art. Or you could listen on the porch of a Forest Service cabin drinking an ice cold beer. Either way will do.