Jonathan Bentley, up until now, has been the Midwest's best-kept secret. Estuary marks the official debut of this extraordinary songwriter. And what a debut. It is audacious and unconventional in every respect. The location - the living room of his farmhouse in the countryside east of Springfield, Missouri; the recording method - everyone positioned around two microphones, no overdubs; the instrumentation - steel string guitar, nylon string guitar, two violins, a clarinet, a banjo, and percussion; and the songs themselves combine to create something entirely unique. Try to imagine rock and roll had it been created before the electric guitar. Imagine if Lou Reed or Bob Dylan were born 40 years earlier and fronted a traveling string band. Imagine a new amalgam - gypsy hillbilly music. What you don't have to imagine is that this kind of music making still exists in America, because it did for two days in June 2003, and MayApple was there with our microphones to capture it. Lyrics are simultaneously abstract and resonating, melodies are tuneful yet distant, and the septet is beautiful and twisted. These songs speak the heart and mind of a true artist, unfettered and uncensored. Come forward, brave souls, and buy this CD. Featuring the talents of cousin Bill Thomas, Molly Healey, Randy Bearden, Kenny Wirt, Ryan Flores, and Danielle Meinhardt. Produced by poet Roger Wissbaum. 'a lo-fi, no pretense marvel' - Philadelphia Weekly.
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