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Peter Mulvey

KITCHEN RADIO (Signature) • Peter Mulvey

Incredibly impressive, a fascinating and extremely enjoyable listen, start to finish. This is one well-oiled machine here. The quartet of Peter Mulvey and David "Goody" Goodrich and the Groovasaurus riddim section of bassist Lou Ulrich and drummer Mike Piehl play like a band that's been together for twenty years. The chemistry between the artist and his multi-instrumentalist producer is something to behold, a pretty astonishing symbiosis. Goodie's electric guitar is even better than I remember. And his lap steel (there's not one credited, but it doesn’t sound like slide guitar, unless it's a Frankencaster) on "Toad" is absolutely smoldering.

Mulvey has a deep, smoky and traveled voice, but it's friendly, welcoming. We imagine him to be a very good guy, and more than a little enlightened. For a folk record, it's grooving very hard. The flex of the second number, "Shirt," is fantastic, only the very best can make it bounce like that. In fact, "Denver 6 a.m." is not folk, not by any reasonable definition. But many of the numbers are, and the artist is an acoustic guitarist of rare measure. That said, he is no better a player than he is a singer, no better singer than he is a writer.

"Bloomington," an instrumental. Lord, the tracks are so Big. Can it really just be two guitars? Apparently so, it's just they're each hitting so many notes that count, and none that don't. The sound of mastery, it's a stone groove. In the imminent future of the downloadable anything, when a young player types in a request for songs that best exemplify how two acoustics can play together, this should come up in the top ten choices. (Surely this is around the corner--you come home from work, say out loud "I'd like to hear some Norwegian folk music artists singing in English," and you select from a menu, and the video and audio begin…)

The cover is gorgeous, the music is breathtaking. This is how it's supposed to be. We're knocked out. Get it, here. Oh, and clips! • FG

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