Release Date: Apr 17, 2020
Record label: Drag City
Genre(s): Jazz, New Age, Spoken Word, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Experimental Rock, International, New Acoustic, Progressive Folk, World Fusion, Western European Traditions, Flamenco, Ethnic Fusion, Solo Instrumental, Finger-Picked Guitar, Progressive Altern
While the Sun City Girls and the Minutemen stylistically had essentially nothing in common, both groups were sterling examples of how punk rock, instead of being a template as it was for most bands, could instead be a door that led them into a rich world of sounds and ideas. As the Minutemen allowed jazz, funk, and prog rock to influence them as much as the fast/loud stuff, the Sun City Girls emerged from the Arizona punk scene and, instead of creating hardcore for skate rats, tapped into a deep vein of experimentalism, world music, and creative wanderlust that resulted in a large and rewarding body of work. Since the Sun City Girls folded in 2007 following the death of drummer Charles Gocher, guitarist Sir Richard Bishop has continued to follow his muse with similar passion and focus, fashioning music that often strikes a midpoint between the free-form internationalism of his work with his former band and the American Primitive school of guitar founded by John Fahey (who was enough of a fan to release Bishop's solo album Salvador Kali on his Revenant label).
Sir Richard Bishop is one of the most riveting and dynamic acoustic guitarists on the planet, but he's seldom seemed interested in the tropes of the solo guitar tradition. Since his 1998 debut on Revenant, John Fahey's own label and a bastion of stylistic misfits, the Sun City Girls cofounder has indulged a deep restless streak, making records that nod toward his six-string contemporaries before racing off in a dozen directions. In the span of a few tracks, he might conjure the endless ecstasy of Munir Bashir, the cinematic elegance of Chet Atkins, and the spare beauty of Libba Cotten.