Powers / Rolin Duo - S/T

LP edition of 400. Repressed in Pink Vinyl.

Hot on the heels of last year’s Matthew J. Rolin LP (FTR 502), here is a new duo recording featuring Rolin’s acoustic twelve-string and the hammered-dulcimer of Jen Powers. They’ve had a couple previous cassettes, but I’ve never seen ’em! If you have, I can offer you something fine in trade.

As with his first LP, Rolin’s command of his guitar is quite wonderful to hear. He uses the whole breadth of the twelve-string’s harmonic potential, which creates a wide surging stream of sound. Powers’ work with the hammered dulcimer (an instrument we hear far too rarely these days!) utilizes a similar approach, which means we are afforded access to wide aural river into which we can dip our aching heads. A more soothing splash will be hard to find.

Matt and Jen have been playing together since early 2018, when Rolin relocated from Chicago to Columbus, where they are now based. They’ve also worked as a trio with Jayson Gerycz playing singing bowls and like, but the tape of that session has eluded me thus far as well. Still, this duo record is a wonderful dive into their sound. The music is open and upful and filled with a kind of joy that seems in short supply these days. 

Recorded by Lisa Bella Donna (of the great underground prog band, EYE), mastered by Brian Sulpizio (Ryley Wakler’s guitarist of choice, among other things), the debut LP by the Powers/Rolin Duo is an object of power and beauty. Let it shine, motherfucker. Let it shine.

-Byron Coley, 2020

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