In 2012, lured Grailwise by its sturdy charisma and the silvery radiance of its metal torso, I bought my first resonator ukulele, a Nashville, and took it home to meet the family.
After the more refined company of my other (more delicate) ukes - the feminine eloquence of La Cordoba & the perky plunk of L'il Bruko - this new arrival revealed a personality that was cantankerous & unsubtle.
It rarely stayed in tune, had a brittle grunt & no sustain, but I found new edges in my playing, more percussive, bluntly aggressive & lending itself to the dissonant melodies of depression-era blues & jazz roots. I named my disgruntled beastlet "PIGBOX", and as he offered up his battered reportoire, I envisioned an album designed to celebrate this rough diamond.
Four years of accumulated ideas & interruptions later, recorded at home over a two-week burst, here 'tis: a deliberately ramshackle jumble of half-baked ideas, spontaneous experiments, found sounds, dissonant blues, slurred timings, disgruntlements & happy accidents inspired by this cranky ukulele.
On this album, PIGBOX is joined in various bedragglements by his good mates cello bass, electrified ukuleles, acoustic & electric guitar, jungle kit & kitchen percussion, kemenche, balalaika, mandolin, electric plank, balalaika, 12-string mandolin, balafon, jawharp & whoever else was at hand. Some of these, such as cello & kemenche (Turkish fiddle), I had to teach myself to play, and much of this music was created spontaneously.
I wanted these Pigbox sessions to match his temperament and remain authentic to the moment - loose, klunky, unapologetically blunt, well-warted & rhythmically rubbery, a drunk aesthetic teetering sinuously between delicate collapse & sublime cohesion.
In celebration, esteemed listeners, I present to you.........PIGBOX & CO!
released April 4, 2016
Composed, performed & recorded between 2011 - 2016 by Bradfield Dumpleton on Nashville resonator ukulele (acoustic & electrified), tremolo Bruko soprano uke, cello bass, acoustic & electric guitar, jungle kit & kitchen percussion, kemenche, balalaika, mandolin, 12-string mandolin, electric plank, rubberband bass, balalaika, 12-string mandolin, balafon, jawharp & strange gutteral moanings (singing?). All music & words, artwork & photography © Bradfield Dumpleton (except the chorus of "I'll Fly Away" on 14)
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