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CD/DVD Releases: ''Boy From Black Mountain'' Turned Loose September 29

Posted on Sunday, August 02 @ 01:00:00 UTC by nightowl

Boy From Black Mountain is the third release from determinedly eclectic Boston-based ensemble Beat Circus. The album was produced by lead singer, songwriter and founding member Brian Carpenter with Bryce Goggin (Akron/Family, Antony and the Johnsons, Bishop Allen) and marks the second release in Carpenter's "Weird American Gothic" trilogy. Singer Larkin Grimm (whose Parplar CD Carpenter performed on) and cellist Julia Kent (Antony and the Johnsons) are special guests who appear throughout the album. Boy From Black Mountain will be released on September 29, 2009 in the U.S. and Europe on Cuneiform Records.

Multi-instrumentalist Brian Carpenter began writing Boy From Black Mountain shortly after his son was diagnosed with autism in late 2006. A number of songs such as "Boy From Black Mountain" and "Saturn Song" (a duet with Grimm) were inspired by the experience of living with his son during the time of his diagnosis and treatment. Other compositions were inspired by the lives of his father and grandparents, watermelon farmers in the rural Bible Belt; their titles are drawn from works of classic Southern Gothic literature while the sound is deeply influenced by venerable regional musical traditions. "As I Lay Dying," for instance, is a hillbilly foot-stomper wreathed in Gothic atmosphere. "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" is based on the life of Brian's father growing up in the Florida panhandle.

Carpenter formed Beat Circus shortly after his arrival in Boston in 2002 and he's been its guiding light and only constant member since the ensemble's inception. He had been born and reared in the state of Florida into a large Southern Baptist family and raised on a steady diet of old-timey and Southern Gospel music. Throughout middle and high school, he played trumpet in school concert and jazz orchestras. When he settled in Gainesville in 1990 to study engineering, he soon became part of the fertile local music scene playing with bands like Less Than Jake, Aleka's Attic, What It Is, and Sister Hazel in the early part of the decade. During this time, Carpenter also organized one of the biggest music festivals of the Southeast, the Gainesville Jazz & Pop Festival.

In 2001, Carpenter moved to Boston to direct a film documentary on the life and legacy of Albert Ayler with a group of MIT and NYU film students. From 2001-2005 Brian produced the free-form experimental radio show "Free Association" on WZBC-FM at Boston College. He also began collaborating with banjo player Brandon Seabrook, laying the foundation for the original Beat Circus line-up. Recruiting other players including Alec K. Redfearn (the Eyesores), Brian launched Beat Circus initially performing instrumental free-improvisations using traditional circus songs as a jumping-off point. After playing live in Cambridge throughout the summer of 2003, Beat Circus recorded its debut Ringleaders Revolt, which was released the following year.

In 2005, Carpenter began composing music for Beat Circus, working out arrangements that now included vocal parts. The results would be Dreamland, produced by Martin Bisi. Dreamland, was a " fantastical, extravagant, largely instrumental circus/folk-song cycle about the infamous 1900s Coney Island theme park of the same name" (as the Boston Phoenix enthused). Dreamland marked the first installment in Brian's "Weird American Gothic" series and was released by Cuneiform Records in January 2008.

Soon after the completion of the Dreamland, Redfearn departed to focus on his own band The Eyesores, and Carpenter put together the current incarnation of Beat Circus who would then record Boy From Black Mountain. Taking over as lead vocalist, Brian brought in violinist Paran Amirinazari and violist Jordan Voelker (who also provide background vocals), trombonist Doug LaRosa, and the rockabilly-style rhythm section composed of upright bassist Paul Dilley (from Reverend Glasseye), guitarist/banjoist Andrew Stern, and drummer Gavin McCarthy (from Karate and Glorytellers).

[Source: Howlin' Wuelf Media]

Posted in Album Release News