'My friends came down way too soon', sings John Vanderslice, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar whilst collaborator Mimi Choi and her Magik Magik Orchestra ramp up the drama by adding layers of horns, strings, piano, drums and strategically-placed kitchen sinks. 'I stayed high like the silvery moon'. He pauses for effect, then delivers the punchline: 'I woke up in a hospital bed'. The strings sweep and wheel dramatically. This is White Wilderness in a nutshell: confessional story-telling lyrics, casually poetic images, and a sense of vulnerability which is both given greater emphasis and subverted by Choi's confident arrangements.
Continue reading: John Vanderslice, White Wilderness Album review
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The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.