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Gary Garners 5 Stars For New Album!
Tower Pulse!, June 2000
Improve the Shining Hour
***** (5 stars)
By Ted Drozdowski
Gary Lucas is a secret genius of American music: a gifted guitarist,
songwriter, bandleader and eclectic spirit who has worked with Captain
Beefheart, Jeff Buckley, Joan Osborne, DJ Spooky, Nick Cave and others.
And this is his diary. These 18 entries span from December 1980 to
January 2000—from a live version of "Flavour Bud Living," his one-man
Stratocaster showstopper with Beefheart's Magic Band, to a remake of his
Osborne hit "Spider Web" with Buster Poindexter singing shotgun. In
between is a tilt-a-whirl rush of acoustic blues, pop tunes, poetics,
drum 'n' bass, heavenly textural explorations on electric guitar and
Lucas' own lyrical folk-pop numbers. It's all knit together by Lucas'
unerring sense of melody and soul, whether he's dexterously
cross-picking as he croons his blithe sylvan ode "In a Forest" or
stomping up the Devil in a menacing match-up of National steel guitar
and monolithic synthesizer in "Judgment at Midnight Theme." Cut-for-cut,
a thoroughly winning musical biography.