Mister Hazelwood: Golden Age

Mister Hazelwood: Golden Age
Title: Golden Age
Label: CD Baby

American Transcendentalism - An artistic, philosophical, and spiritual movement of the mid-Nineteenth Century that held among it's core beliefs that personal intuition is the highest source of Truth, - 'transcending' the evidence of the senses and the doctrines of established religions. Upon this premise, prominent Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman sought to establish a new approach to art which was purely-American, and free from the limitations of European tradition. 'Mister Hazelwood' is the alter ego of Joseph S. Hazelwood, - a highly-imaginative fellow; a shade-tree philosopher, and enthusiast of 19th Century art and culture. These attributes, combined with his propensity to create avant-garde folk music, has resulted in a ground-breaking body of work entitled 'The Golden Age'. A surreal and compelling, other-worldly musical experience, - this album invites the listener to peer into a paradoxical Utopian dream, where reality and potentiality converge in allegorical tales of full-moon musings, venerable mansions, mystic gardens, and sages. Yet, no matter how far out on a limb Hazelwood might go, he has still managed to create something that will easily be embraced as a progression of Americana or Indy Folk-Pop. This is due in part to the album's producer Joe McMahan who has made a career of continually expanding the boundaries of Nashville's 'Americana' sound. His work with Kevin Gordon, Jennifer Nicely, Mike Farris, The Altered Statesmen, Peter Bradley Adams, and others has earned him critical acclaim as a visionary producer. Together, he and Hazelwood set out to capture the essence of three days of live performances in the studio with as many as eight musicians performing together at once. These were purposefully impromptu, unrehearsed sessions where each of the players was allowed the freedom to interject his or her own uniquely creative impulses. This sort of 'controlled chaos' has become McMahan's trademark, - what he calls "catching lightning in a bottle". It is apparent on 'The Golden Age' with it's ethereal echoes swirling over a sneaky rhythmic pulse, - beautifully supporting Mr. Hazelwood's antiquarian voice which is won't to shift intermittently from meditative to foreboding. Categorize it however you like, - Avant-Americana, Transcendental Folk, Neo-Victorian American Roots Music (?), Mister Hazelwood's 'The Golden Age' is a timeless and important contribution to the landscape of American music.

1.1 Confidential Friend
1.2 As the Storm Rolls in
1.3 One Way Out
1.4 Eloise
1.5 Another Clew
1.6 The Grey House
1.7 Live Forever
1.8 Transcend the Albatross
1.9 Round and Round
1.10 Keep It Quiet
1.11 The Golden Age

Mister Hazelwood: Golden Age

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