John Andrews & The Yawns
30 Main Street
Winoosk, VT, 05404
Meg Duffy hasn't stopped moving, working, or growing since she left her quiet childhood home in upstate New York. You can find her in the back of the van reading a book, quietly warming up backstage with some guitar workouts, or waiting tables at a neighborhood pizzeria. Though Meg didn't pick up the instrument until she was seventeen years old, her intuitive, naturalistic musicality and commitment to the craft of guitar playing have made an in demand collaborator and guitarist for countless indie acts (Kevin Morby, Mega Bog, Weyes Blood) and kept her between the road and the studio for almost three straight years. Like much of the richest art, Meg's LP debut Wildy Idle (Humble Before the Void) (Woodsist 2017) is many things at once. The record is a collection of songs written amidst the constant motion of touring, recording, and working part-time jobs; recorded at home in North East LA between other commitments, around the sounds of roommates cooking breakfast, and dogs pattering though an old craftsman house. Layered with Duffy's signature extended guitar techniques, poems read by friends, and musical contributions from contemporaries like Keven Lareau (Quilt), Avi Buffalo, Sheridan Riley, and others, the album combines striking visual storytelling and compelling melody with a deceptively light touch. Drawing on diverse influences ranging from novelist Iris Murdoch to Phil Elverum's seminal work under his Microphones moniker, this album is more than the sum of its parts. Like a folded paper fortune teller, each listen reveals a new, hidden truth about living, working, and falling in and out of love buried in the quietly beating heart of the record. Dark, pulsing tracks like the intoxicating "Bad Boy" sit comfortably beside sunny strummers like "All The While" with its bouncing bass line and beguiling lyrics. The thread that runs through all these songs is Duffy's voice, in turns languid and sweet, and always telling a story. Mixed and mastered by contemporary electronic music maestro M. Geddes Gengras, the result is an LP as hypnotic as Hand Habit's impossibly immersive live set, and filled with the same engaging blend of wild improvisation and perfect restraint. Expansive, atmospheric arrangements punctuated with intricate melodic details. This record is indoor music at its finest: listen in the morning, in bed with your partner, in the kitchen while you make coffee, at night when you read on the porch.
John Andrews & The Yawns
"Bit By The Fang is the first solo album from singer/songwriter John Andrews and his imaginary back up band "The Yawns." John began recording the album in 2013 while working at a Salvation Army in the Amish country of Lancaster, PA, his home at the time. As the new year rolled around, he followed a demanding schedule of writing, recording and touring with both Quilt (drums) and Woods (keys). It wasn't until a well-earned break that he would find the time and energy to complete the solo record he started months before. He recounts the difficulties involved. "Traveling so much caused my whole living scenario in PA to kind of fall apart," he tells us, lamenting over the comfort only home can provide. As he moved back to his hometown of Yardville, NJ, he set up camp in his grandparent's empty living room to record & perform everything entirely by himself once again. Warm acoustic guitars, honky tonk piano, lap steel, singing saw and fluttering violins all sing together and create this well crafted, yet comfortingly sloppy, psych-country/R&B record. A self-taught piano player, you'll hear him maneuver around the keys with the precision of players well beyond his years. Lyrically and stylistically John is capable of tackling even the subject of death with the lightheartedness of a Saturday morning cartoon in "I'll Go To Your Funeral, If You Go To Mine". It's hard not to conjure comparisons to Michael Hurley, Daniel Johnston or Kevin Ayers. This album is a great introduction to the grandiose fables of characters at the mercy of Andrews' oddball mind." -Jeffrey Silverstein