Down in South Philly, I daydreamed what Mike Bruno was getting into that produced such interesting psychedelic music, what uncharted realms of musical magic, sound experimentation, and audio alchemy was he dabbling in? I imagined an unfinished basement, big, loud amps, a mess of guitar pedals, electrical cords, homespun tunings, and various drum hardware strewn about, Bruno in the middle of it summoning or perhaps exorcising sonic demons. I also pictured that he was in repose on a sun-dappled wood floor in a cozy room invaded by green potted plants, six-string in hand, drawing on the spirits of Pentangle, Steeleye Span, Sandy Denny, or maybe folks closer to home – John Fahey and the Takoma crew. He certainly conjured up both images while performing over the years in Philly groups like Bad Braids, The Black Magic Family Band, and now in Shadow Band.
Shadow Band continues the work that Bruno and much of his regular crew and collaborators have been building the framework for. Tight blissful explorations, but never too pristine, just enough grit to make it worthwhile, just enough sonic space to bring in more buddies to add in a synth or wacked-out violin part. Keep ’em guessing, but keep ’em spacin’. Tuned in and zoned out.
Grab Shadow Band’s new album Wilderness of Love and make your ears happy.