Zubot and Dawson - Chicken Scratch
POSTED: OCTOBER 1ST, 2002
You'd think a guy who plays mainly a resonator guitar(one of those big hollow-bodied metal-and-wood contraptions picked occassionally like a regular axe, but more often thrown across the lap and played with a steel slide) and another who plays rustic fiddle and occassional mandolin could go only so far, particularly when their chosen musical landscape lies well within established folk and country boundaries, and they seem more or less determined to perform and record acoustically, sans electronic effects, eschewing vocals except in dire straits. Other great musicians have gone this way before - Ry Cooder, Tony Rice, David Grisman among them - but B.C. virtuosos Jesse Zubot and Steve Dawson, both masters of very difficult instruments, augmented on their third album by bassist Andrew Downing and percussionist Elliot Polsky, are pushing way past the old fence lines and into new turf, where melody and structure are very loose concepts and the reach is for culturally indiscriminate music of a decidedly rich, cinematic nature. Intense, amusing, witty, moody, ethereal all at once, this is a new kind of folk, exquisitely executed.