Can’t make it at this time, Jack? Relax and listen instead to the acoustic Americana by the formidable Swiss band Monotales and their soulful, psychedelic country rock vocal harmonies, smooth and engaging, every note hit to perfection. And no way are they copying anybody, they’ve got plenty of their own things to say, what with their own homemade compositions. But yes, their sound’s in proximity of other bands that have been or currently play in the ballpark of the crowded folk-rock genre. For you who’s a little younger you might hear the influences of Wilco, Ryan Adams, and Calexico and for you a little older, it’s the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young and perhaps the most influential of them all, The Flying Burrito Brothers with the great Gram Parsons. Monotales are in the tradition and very much on the move tonight are Andi Schnellmann, Arno Troxler, Kuno Studer, Mauro Guarise and Urs Mueller, the band’s current personnel. Let your imagination run wild, tune in, drop out, hit the gas, break away.
Splendid singer-songwriter and superb guitarist Phil is an unassuming and simpatico kind of oddball and despite having been around for say 20 years? there isn’t even a recent press release photo to be posted here. And little is known about his discography either, further underscoring his outsider status. Yet the phantom is back and doing what he does best, that is heating things up for other acts and for you with his own brand of bluesy country and free-wheeling folk-rock. Let it be known, Americana Phil Duke is Zurich’s own with his longtime partner, a Gretsch 6119 Chet Atkins Tennessee Rose, one of the finest makes of a guitar ever and Phil and his axe have been inseparably joined at the hip ever since they met. He is the inimitable asphalt jungle troubadour who looks like a displaced Grizzly hunched over his guitar and he sings about everyday life in four chords and not many more words. Make sure to catch phantom Phil Duke before he disappears back into the wall.
Monotales and Phil Duke, live at El Lokal. Electrifying acoustic is on tap tonight.