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V/A - …And To The Disciples That Remain

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Artist: V/A

Album: …And To The Disciples That Remain

Label: Amish

Review date: Sep. 5, 2006

Amish Records – that’s a pretty country name for a label with a New York City post office box, but they’ve backed it up by issuing some decidedly rural sounds. Not country and western, mind you, and not necessarily from this country, but out of town nonetheless.

…And To The Disciples That Remain is a compilation to celebrate the imprint’s 10th anniversary. Ah, don’t recoil; sure, most such projects are populated with leftovers and castoffs, but for the most part this one beats the odds. The chaff blows off the top early; track two, Mike Wexler’s “Gift Wave,” instigates dark thoughts of Elton John rewriting “Black is the Color of my True Love’s Hair,” but it’s the only one I’d throw straight into the circular file. The following tune, Theo Angell’s “Cannonball,” is a shit-kicking tape loop and banjo-fueled hoedown that aces anything on his recent album.

Angell is not the only one to turn in top-drawer stuff. Oakley Hall turn in a bleak-as-November cover of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Codine,” while Dan Matz and the Birdwatcher’s “Being, Not Becoming” is a solid slab of vintage Floydian psychodrama that earns its place by supplying a change of pace from the more rustic sounds that surround it.

But the best moments are the gentlest ones; P.G. Six’s two contributions cement his allegiance with vintage Britfolk, while Helen Rush’s demo of “Silver Sun” weds willowy beauty to eerie atmospherics.

By Bill Meyer

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