Chris Eckman: The Last Side of the Mountain (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

 |   |  <1 min read

Chris Eckman (with Anita Lipnicka): Who Will Light Your Path?
Chris Eckman: The Last Side of the Mountain (Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Eckman has been one of the cornerstones of the long-running and very credible alt.country outfit the Walkabouts, has released solo albums, and been a member of the ever-evolving Willard Grant Conspiracy. All of which should recommend him if you follow this particular path of string-augmented, soul-baring songwriting.

But the material for the bulk of this album comes from an unusual source: here Eckman sets to music some of the stark poems of the late Slovenian Dane Zacj who he places in the pantheon alongside Townes Van Zandt.

There is an elemental quality to these images and lyrics, and the indifference of the world, the price you'll pay for life, matters of belief and other weighty ideas. But Eckman sets them to memorable (beautifully produced, and intimate or uplifting) melodies.

Guitars gently soar, synths add scale and texture, the orchestration is supportive and elevating.

Certainly some may hear this as earnest as Bono at his most breathy and self-important, but that would be a superficial reading of what is here: these are powerful poems with real depth and resonance.

Originally from Seattle, Eckman has been living in Slovenia for many years and here brings that quality to the music too in the company of local players.

One to definitely check out and immerse yourself in. Especially if the name Leonard Cohen means anything to you.  

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Ken Nordine: Word Jazz; The Complete 1950s Recordings (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Ken Nordine: Word Jazz; The Complete 1950s Recordings (Chrome Dreams/Triton)

Ken Nordine's voice -- assured, resonant, clear -- was his passport into radio where he worked as an announcer and narrator. But he was also of the Jazz Generation and in the Fifties he... > Read more

Low Speed Bus Chase: Breathe (lowspeedbuschase.com)

Low Speed Bus Chase: Breathe (lowspeedbuschase.com)

Singer Jack Parker here is a graduate of Graeme Downes' excellent popular music course at Otago University but this band -- which formed in Dunedin -- is now based in Melbourne . . . and one listen... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Savage: Gimme Some Lovin' (1966?)

The Savage: Gimme Some Lovin' (1966?)

No, this is not the Spencer Davis Group sped up but a Japanese group (person?) which appeared on the '91 album Slitherama; Psychedelic Tokyo 1966-1969, the third volume of Japanese garage bands on... > Read more

ALBERT WENDT INTERVIEWED (1991): Shaping a life in words

ALBERT WENDT INTERVIEWED (1991): Shaping a life in words

The beer cartons were dumped on the writer’s verandah “like an hermaphroditic orphan.” Inside were random jottings, diary entries, what appeared to be short stories, poems and... > Read more