Wednesday night at The Stone Honne Wells stepped out of hiatus and onto the stage accompanied by musician/artist Juan Comas to bring Wells’ latest project to fruition. They played an array of string instruments tuned to specificity. The results were a dynamic assemblage of sound that was deceptive to the viewer’s eye but surprising to the ear.
Put assumptions aside and the banjo, guitar and zither sounded like high and low pitched bell-like sounds of percussion. The zithers hummed and swelled in a loop like circular reverberation. The repetitive flutter plucking of the banjo had an unfamiliar quality, and the guitars played with glass slide and strum beat asymmetrical patterns of percussion. The kick drum was true to form.
This compelling mix was contrasted by the guttural low styling of Wells voice. His vocals are low and vibrate into depths of gospelesque blues of hard times and tough luck. The unexpected results of playing live tuned the audience into the process. We were welcome receptors.
All 4 songs clocked in at about 10 minutes or longer. The first was the combination of two zithers one fretted and one fretless, coordinating a long building dialogue between them. Honne repeated / don’t feel like I’m alone anymore / never feeling home in this world /.
Switching it up with two guitars they created a high-pitched bell-like clank and the kick drumbeat escalated to reflect Honne’s powerfull ramblings. Honne Wells striking physical presence his neck stretched, chin upward and stoic manner captured the conceptual attitude.
Honne introduced the next song “(Don't Follow Me Down To) The Bottoms” saying, “this song is written by Edgefield C. Johnston a good friend of mine”. Repeating a graveling intense verse / You Can’t Ride with Me /. With banjo in hand he plucked its strange tuning accompanied by Juan on the zither.
He thanked Shannon Fields for curating and The Stone “for supporting artist and culture in this fair city”. Then he said, “I’m going to sing a song about murder”. “If you live in America you have obviously murdered someone to some degree”. The song began and loudly he sang, “I have something that I must confess ess ess ess…. I just killed a man.
Sometimes it is necessary to leave the bar venue behind with its loud rude patrons there to socialize. The music takes a back seat. Just saw Honne Wells on Friday night Solo in just that situation and was determined to see him properly at The Stone. I’ve heard raves about this venue and now I know why.
Tonight it was music with benefits. The Stone provided the benefit hearing music with no distractions and gave to the audience with no other agenda but to listen.
There are no refreshments or merchandise at The Stone. Only music. All ages are welcome. The Stone is booked purely on a curatorial basis. We do not accept demos of any kind. Each month a different musician is responsible for curating the programs with 100% of the nightly revenue going directly to the musicians. Now that’s refreshing! The stone is a project of hips road, a not-for-profit organization
Collector catalogue from the Yell-O-Faith Experimental Recording Archive
What The Lead Told Or Said 2005 -2007
The Analog Stone City Sessions 2006
Mother Pie Album 2007 -2008
Flickr Set The Stone
Flickr Set Southpaw