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Mike & Cara Gangloff: Poplar Hollow

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Mike & Cara Gangloff: Poplar Hollow

Pelt/Black Twig Pickers picker Mike Gangloff has a solo album here on beautiful swirly red and green vinyl in an eye-popping Jake Blanchard sleeve. Gangloff plays fiddle and banjo and occasionally sings with the only outside contributions coming in the form of shruti box on a couple of songs. The result is an intimate, bare-bones sound, with scraping and plucking in intricate repetitive shapes for a hypnotic raga-esque feel mixed with a dusty front-porch physicality which sounds very American, particularly when he sings. I’m particularly enjoying it when he’s picking his banjo, with swift twangy patterns folding in on one another in a flurry of constantly lapping notes. The fiddle parts are much different, scrapey meditations which drone and quiver with a buoyant humanity and immediacy. It seems like an intensely personal document, like a man trying to explain himself through sound. Quite an intense and sometimes challenging listen but very satisfying with it.
-- Mike, Norman Records