Rexford Bedlo - Rexford Bedlo

by Jeff Penczak Rating:8 Release Date:2014-04-02

Trainspotters who enjoyed the scavenger hunt to track down the inspiration for Chris Wade's Dodson and Fogg solo project will be equally chuffed at unraveling the mystery behind this collaboration with brother Andy, who’s also recorded as Failing Atlantic. (Hint: They passed on Weary Reilly, Wilbur Force, Bob Doolin, and Garret Breedlove) The siblings split writing credits equally across these dozen tracks and, in true Lennon/McCartney fashion, the author sings his own creation, and is typically accompanied by brother on bass.

Fans of Chris’ slicker D&F releases will take a few minutes to adjust to the organically unwinding recordings that sometimes have a spontaneous, demo quality about them, particularly Andy’s selections. But the sparse backing (essentially the aforementioned guitar and bass) draws the listener into the Wade's appealing front room presentations, like attending an intimate living room concert they’ve prepared exclusively for your entertainment.

Chris’ tracks are a little more polished and not far removed from his Dodson and Fogg recordings, but those albums are among the finest acid/psychedelic-folk recordings of the last few years, so any new recordings are welcome treasures. That’s not to dismiss Andy’s tunes out of hand. There’s a free and easy vibe about them, like campfire recordings embellished by a long evening of herbal smoke and the fruit of the vine.

Each of the songs grows friendlier with repeated listens, but I particularly liked the acoustic Hot Tuna groove of ‘Carry On’, the controlled chaos of the Incredible String Band-like ‘I Will Be Here for You’, and the navel-gazing rumination of Chris’ pastoral instrumental, ‘Lily’s Lullaby’. And then there’s Andy’s giddy (if somewhat inebriated) banjo-driven ‘Everybody Loves You’, which will have you reaching for your Clive Palmer (C.O.B., Banjoland, and Lazy Farmer) reissues. His bluesy swagger is also at the core of the gospel-inflected ‘Don’t Take This Away From Me’, while Chris’ funky ‘Throwing Your Life Away’ has a smooth, Leon Redbone groove that works well with a warm glass of vino and an equally temperature-rising partner.

The accompaniment throughout is as tight as one might expect from a couple of brothers who’ve been making music together for most of their lives (and are not as antagonistic as the Gallagher and Davies lads). This album is recommended to fans of freewheelin’ acoustic folk tunes with a slightly edgy coating. It's available directly from the lads' bandcamp site.

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