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- EMP015 / LP on Empty Cellar in sexy sleeve with obi strip and download! Last few copies!
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- The Corner Man by Cairo Gang
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 27 November 2012
Here’s the latest from Emmett Kelly’s Cairo Gang, sometime Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy collaborators and practitioners of smooth, shady Americana with tasteful arrangements and subtle harmonies backing Kelly’s distinctive, melodious voice.
This LP comes in a lovely thick card sleeve with a glossy front cover and a matte back, like in the olden days, all wrapped up with a letterpressed Obi strip. It’s very pretty. As for the music, that’s very pretty as well, with plenty of open space for the wistful songs to breathe. When Wilco’s Leroy Bach contributes some guitar to a few of the tracks, particularly his slidey lead offering in ‘One Of Us’, there’s a pleasantly countryish feel, while when he takes things right down to barely anything, his silky high vocal tones are reminding me of the excellent Sandro Perri, and sometimes he even bravely opts for some Jeff Buckley-esque downbeat soul acrobatics which work surprisingly well!A personal highlight for me is the final section of the rousing ‘Put On A Smile’, where they rip into this slow, fuzzed out jam for a few bars before dropping away to near-silence. It’s very effective. Sometimes his songwriting reminds me a little of Lambchop’s Kurt Wagner or maybe that Hiss Golden Messenger dude, but the singing is clearer, like a less defeated-sounding Will Oldham. If you’re into downbeat Americana you’ll find a lot to like about this smooth, soulful offering.
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