A pivotal figure in the 80’s underground in Seattle, he’s been and is at the helm of diverse cult favorites like The Walkabouts; Distance Light and Sky and Dirt Music, singer-songwriter-instrumentalist Chris Eckman brings his art solo, accompanied by his acoustic guitar to the island of world music tonight. Rock, folk, world and country with a psychedelic drift are what he’s being labeled with but any categorizations only scratch the surface of what his song making is all about.
Chris currently lives in Ljubljana which made his performance here possible and we’re lucky to have him back. He’ll be introducing his 5th solo album, the enigmatic “Where the Spirit Rests” and for which Discogs awarded him a high five stars. With lyrics all penned by him, you can hear his familiarity with the works of Towns Van Zandt and Leonard Cohen but his work doesn’t stop there. For one thing, he doesn’t let perfection get in the way of spontaneous expression. Gently spiraling upwards towards their destination and not lacking in warmth and compassion, his songs nevertheless reach you with uncompromising honesty and bluntness. “Whisper baby, in my ear, calm the fuck down”. They’re reflections and ruminations on a variety of topics like searching for home, darkness and light, oblivion and acumen, hope and despair. Somber and thoughtful, isolation is showing its hopeful spirit.
In the beautifully instrumentalized “Where the Spirit Rests”, strings, synth drones and ambient guitars set the tone. The album was co-produced by Brit electronic composer Alastair McNeill and Chris Eckman’s carefully chosen collaborators were the pedal steels of Chuck Johnson and Jon Hyde, inventive and free spirited violinist Catherine Graindorge (Chris first met her at a fish cannery in Alaska!), contrabass Ziga Golob, Blaz Celarec on drums and Dream Syndicate/Green on Red Chris Cacavas on synth, an El Lokal alumni.
Prick up your ears if you still want to feel more than just alive.