“EMPIRE” KSE #210 (CDR)
recorded in Spectrasound by Matt Valentine
$8.00 postpaid anywhere, payable via paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com
HEATHER LEIGH needs no introduction to followers of the high-energy underground music scene of the last 15 years. Having worked with such legendary units as Ash Castles on the Gold Coast, Charalambides, Scorces (w/ Christina Carter) and Dream/Aktion unit, not to mention TWO tours (of Northern Ireland and of Australia) and over a dozen shows with Jandek, this West Virginia-born, Texas-raised guitarist-vocalist, now resident of Scotland, is that rare combination of sensitivity and power. One of the greatest performances I’ve witnessed in recent years was a duo performance w/ Heather Leigh and Christina Carter at a house party in Austin in December 2010, a kind of Scorces reunion that was as if Sonny Sharrock, Kendra Smith, The Velvet Underground, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Yoko Ono had midwifed a set of high-energy guitar playing twins soaked in Texas blues but aimed at the stratosphere.
That same magickal dynamism is present on her new solo album for KSE, EMPIRE (KSE #210). One album-length piece featuring steel guitar and vocals, and recorded in Spectrasound by Matt Valentine, EMPIRE features steel-guitar as sonic reducer. Hendrix’s version of the Star-Spangled Banner is alluded to, and the hovering presence of Misunderstood psychedelic steel-guitar alchemist Glenn Ross “Fernando” Campbell animates an album that starts in high gear and does not let up. The note-bending, white-hot molten metallic brew that can only be produced by an electrified steel guitar is what’s on offer with EMPIRE, accompanied by Ms. Leigh’s blues-drenched background vocals which color and shade and anchor the free-flowing shards of splatter steel-guitar. If you are looking for an artist who combines the death-defying high-wire-act guitar pyrotechnics of Keiji Haino with the raw gutteral note-bending of Hound Dog Taylor but with a Texas psych angle and a blues pull and a seductive smokiness (and haven’t we all been looking for that all our lives?), then HEATHER LEIGH is the lady and EMPIRE is the album you’ve been needing in your life.
We sometimes forget that the pioneers of the steel-guitar in Western Swing such as Bob Dunn and Speedy West were fairly out-there back in the day….listen to some of Dunn’s playing on the Milton Brown sides, some of the earliest electric guitar recordings (predating T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian)—those solos would be considered off-the-wall today! Heather Leigh, the daughter of a coal miner and longtime resident of Texas (Texas is in her blood!), is the proud post-modern grand-daughter of those pioneers.
Kendra Steiner Editions is excited to present this new Heather Leigh album, featuring cover art from the legendary Bob Bruno (co-leader of the seminal 60’s psych band Circus Maximus and also free-jazz man who has recorded/performed with many greats such as a Noah Howard), and a great SOUND from recordist Matt Valentine. It’s a limited, hand-numbered edition of 123 copies and the covers come in a wide variety of papers and inks, so who knows which combination you’ll get.
It’s only $8.00 US postpaid anywhere…payment via paypal to django5722(at)yahoo(dot)com
Dusted Magazine: “All notions of the pedal steel’s laid-back, country harmony are shattered as Leigh extols jagged notes and blocks of electric noise that seem to rail against rock, jazz and other notions of freedom music.”
Tiny Mix Tapes: “She is summoning the spirits of the ghost-women of rock’n’roll past who were perceived as the sponges of the love-cloaked-violence and guitar-death-gazes of the almighty rocker”
And while you are ordering that, why not check out some of the other great and inexpensive releases of experimental music of all kinds from Kendra Steiner Editions:
full-sized CDR’s ($8.00 each, ppd.)
KSE #225 (CDR), XANTHOCEPHALUS, “3 W B” REISSUE (full-sized CDR reissue of KSE #204, which was a 3″ mini-cdr, this reissue is limited to 35 copies)
KSE #224 (CDR), MASSIMO MAGEE & TIM GREEN, “Direct To Tape” REISSUE (full-sized CDR reissue of KSE #191, which was a 3″ mini-cdr, this reissue is limited to 40 numbered copies)
KSE #221 (CDR), DEREK ROGERS, “circum_navigate” REISSUE (full-sized CDR reissue of KSE #170, which was a 3″ mini-cdr, this reissue is limited to 30 numbered copies)
KSE #207 (CDR), ALFRED 23 HARTH & CARL STONE, “Gift Fig”
KSE # 214 (CDR), SABRINA SIEGEL, “Bottlecaps”
KSE #208 (CDR), ANTHONY GUERRA & BILL SHUTE, “subtraction” (limited USA re-press of CD originally issued on Black Petal Records, Australia—poetry and guitar)
KSE #206 (CDR), ERNESTO DIAZ-INFANTE, “Emilio” (Ernesto will be headlining the KSE 6th Anniversary Concert in Austin on April 29th)
KSE #199 (CDR), Brent Fariss, “Four Environments….Collapsing.”
KSE #189 (CDR), Nick Hennies, “Objects.”