Friday, January 21, 2011


Bill Orcutt A New Way To Pay Old Debts (Mego Editions) CD

Oh my golly. I finally understand. Though I must admit it took me a few months to really get my head around the ragged collection that comprises A New Way to Pay Old Debts. I'm not exactly sure why that is. This blues has precursors in everything from Django Reinhardt, King Crimson, John Fahey and Rick Bishop on back to the Mississippi Delta and all the way back to the primordial dawn.

Orcutt made a gnarly racket screeching and grinding as guitarist/vocalist in Hairy Pussy during most of the 90s, a Florida noise band whose mission was primarily to aggravate and polarize audience members. Since those days, he's spent the time cultivating a particularly unique, and very visceral primitive blues jazz whats-it string pickin' approach. No words can really capture the spontaneous blurting eruptions of what's going on here. The line between composition and improvisation feels all but erased. Orcutt's blues is off-balance and contorted, delivered like a lightning-fast boxing combination more than performed. It's rough around the ages, frayed and tattered like I think only real blues can be. It ain't yo daddy's white-boy-got-da-blues-so-he-gonna-make-dem-strings-cry-like-a-river blues. This is closer to the fury at the tornado's edge --unrelenting and gripped by real pain but also wrapped in a blanket of transcendent need. What Orcutt does song after song here is nothing short of a miracle. Deeply inspiring, weird fucking shit called the blues.

1 comment:

poppyallgood said...

It's worth noting that Bill doesn't forget to boogie.