There's a quote I wanted to start this off with. It's from the liner notes to the Complete Atlantic Sessions box of Willie's that came out a year ago or a couple years ago. The story went that a man who owned a club had booked Willie in. He introduced Willie to the audience on the night of the show and got little reaction. Willie was a bit of a marginal guy in music back then: not quite country, not quite not country; maybe he always has been and was, but it seems people had less of an appreciation for that sort of thing back then. So the man introduced him and got little reaction. He introduced him again and got a couple of claps. Then he got angry and said "He's only a genius, you piece of shits!" That was the story. Well I looked at the liner notes to the Complete Atlantic Sessions, and that's not really how it goes, but I'm going with it. You can take a look and see what really happened; it's not too far off and probably funnier.
The Reveries are playing Willie Nelson's songs on this album. They're a funny band to peg too, though I didn't mean to infer that they're marginal or underappreciated, and this isn't about whether they're geniuses, either. Doug Tielli said he feels like the music made itself, in a way. "I just have to laugh when I listen to it." Yeah, Doug, me too, because it's a wonder!
Now here it seems like a good idea to offer a kind of key to the wonder of the Reveries, because I'd been hearing and seeing the band play for a while without knowing what was really going on with the things in their mouths, and when it was finally explained to me, the music opened up for me.
The Reveries' instruments go through eachothers' mouths! I think that sounds pretty nice on its own without going into detail, but I will. The Reveries play, each Reverie with an altered cell phone speaker in his mouth (each except Jean Martin, because "It would make him gag,"), and each speaker broadcasts the sound of a different instrument that's being played in the band. Ryan Driver's voice and sometimes the drum machine go through Eric Chenaux's mouth. Eric's guitar goes through Doug's mouth, and Doug's guitar or saw goes through Ryan's mouth. The Reveries can then, by opening and closing their mouths, essentially play eachothers' instruments, with a sound something like that grating fuzz that was so popular in grungy music of the nineteen nineties, only not grating and really interesting.
So there it is. There's one more thing I think you ought to know, and then that's it. This is the first in a series, maybe of four, where the Reveries will play the songs of one artist on an album. Sade, Prince, and Nick Cave albums are all in the works. Just so you have something to look forward to.
-Anna Linda Siddall
released July 16, 2021
Eric Chenaux — electric guitar, harmonica, mouth-speaker, vocals
Ryan Driver — street-sweeper bristle bass, thumb-reeds, mouth-microphone, mouth-speaker, vocals
Doug Tielli — electric guitar, nose-flute, saw, mouth-speaker, vocals
Jean Martin — electric and acoustic drums
All songs written by Willie Nelson
Recorded at The Farm by Jean Martin, Toronto, 2007
Mastered at Grey Market Mastering by Harris Newman
Design by Lewis Nicholson, Drawings by Ryan Driver
Rat-drifting music searches for specificity, celebrates detail. It experiments with radical particularity and wonders about
the possibilities and potentials of those experiments. If the music drifts, it does so in the hopes that the listener drifts with it—her/his imagination experimenting with the possibilities of the music as well, as they find their own route through their own experience....more