Release Date: May 14, 2013
Record label: Thrill Jockey
Genre(s): Jazz, Folk, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, Neo-Traditional Folk, New Acoustic, Folk Jazz, Contemporary Instrumental, Neo-Classical, Finger-Picked Guitar
Glenn Jones turns a trick with the title of his fifth album for solo acoustic guitar and banjo, My Garden State. Jones is known best as a Boston musician, having led the city’s art-rock updaters Cul de Sac through the 1990s and having alluded to his adopted hometown with the names and anecdotes of several cuts on previous records. But Jones grew up in northern New Jersey.
Guitarist and seasoned improviser Glenn Jones is a self-professed disciple of John Fahey and the types of rural-leaning guitar styles often dubbed "American Primitive. " With My Garden State, Jones spins ten instrumentals with alternately tuned and experimentally capoed acoustic guitars, banjo, and occasional field recordings. Following the banjo-heavy Barbecue Bob in Fishtown and 2011's more stylistically varied The Wanting, My Garden State seems more of a single-minded vision, with its meandering compositions interlocking to cultivate a peaceful, sometimes somber mood.
Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought that the musical style known as American Primitive wasn’t really all that primitive. Even when legendary guitarists like John Fahey were dragging slides around to commemorate steamboats gwine round dem bends, there were many progressively-minded winks and smiles hidden between the notes. There was an undercurrent to this kind of folk guitar music that suggested “hey, it’s only primitive if you say it is”.