RX barista sista Catherine Merrick selected Pete Molinari‘s A Virtual Landslide as her Staff Pick of the Week. And here’s what she had to say about it:
This is the second album from British artist Pete Molinari, whose bluesy/country/folk songs evoke early recordings by Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams. Comparisons to Bob Dylan, too, are valid — however, I’ve never been a fan of Dylan — to me, Dylan sounds like a whiny old man. Molinari’s voice is somehow more uniquely ambiguous. One could almost swear upon first hearing, for example, track one “It Came Out of the Wilderness” (my personal favorite — a swamp stompin’ triumphant Sun Records-style romp) that it is an old, undiscovered recording by a female singer from days long gone by. (Is it Patsy Cline? Wanda Jackson? Is it a woman? Holy sh*t, it’s a dude!)
Molinari’s melancholy chord structures are often heartbreakingly beautiful. The harmonica part alone in “Sweet Louise” brings tears to my eyes, never mind the soulful, searching lyrics (“But I don’t understand, you put your hand in my hand … You lay me down, absolutely sweet Louise … It’s all by chance, it may be no coincidence, but now it’s late — see all the places you want to create…”)
All in all, this is an amazing example of a modern recording with vintage authenticity — it waltzes and shuffles, slide guitars wail, and Pete’s haunting vocals combined with his clever Beat-Poet-esque lyrics send me back to some undetermined place in time, where I kick up my heels on a dusty barn floor and fall in love with the hand-me-down-wearing boy next door, who will forever dream of traveling to the stars.