The movie Deliverance was mostly remembered for it’s violent and dreadful scenes but it also had some really great music. The one scene that stands out to me was the scene with that kid playing the Banjo an instrument that isn’t used enough these days in today’s music. Thankfully artists such as Alpha Mule, Mumford and Sons, and The Lumineers are bringing the banjo back into the forefront of today’s mainstream music.
Peripheral Vision by Alpha Mule was produced by singer-songwriter Joe Forkan and banjo extraordinaire Eric Stone. They invited some of their friends to perform as special guests non other than Calexico’s very own Joey Burns and Jacob Valenzuela. They also enlisted the help of Calexico long time engineer Craig Schumacher who performed on and mixed Peripheral Vision and his signature sound is heard throughout this beautiful release.
Yes you can hear Calexico’s influence on this album, but Joe Forkan and Eric Stoner take roots music back to its roots. It’s filled with pedal steel and banjo throughout and has touches of Dylan’s 60s sound. Their lyrics are poetic at times and joined with their amazing musicianship they have created something that transcends. The album delves between the traditional and the modern Americana sound with hauntingly beautiful harmonies and melodies such as their lead track Corpus Christi when listening it makes you feels as if your watching an old western with a modern twist such as Westworld.
This album has both high and low tempo songs throughout mixed with a somewhat overall relaxing vibe. They peak my interest with their more toe tapping, high tempo songs… this is where they sincerely shine its the slower material, while great, it didn’t keep my interest. Especially when they go from an uptempo song to a ballad. Maybe its the way the tracks were positioned. Overall I highly recommend this album.
Criteria - 90%
In the end, Peripheral Vision showcases the great talent of two artists that are this little to make it big into the industry. They have all what it takes to become the big thing and conquer the world, and this album is a testament to that. Roots music fan or not, you must give this record a try and you are more than certain to enjoy and love this record.