Obilivians/Reigning Sound leader tones down the volume in solo guise
With both Memphis garage-rock icons the Oblivians and on past releases with Reigning Sound, Greg Cartwright has never shied from volume (check Reigning Sound's slept-on — and aptly titled — Too Much Guitar, from 2004, for proof).
But in his solo work, Cartwright walks a quieter, introspective path more in-line with recent Reigning Sound albums such as Shattered, from 2014. The bluesy, two-track Tin Ten, released earlier this year, features little more than Cartwright's gruff vocals and casually strummed guitar, coming on as if it were recorded with the musician perched on the couch in the living room of his Asheville, North Carolina home. Earlier solo albums, such as Live at the Circle A, maintain this intimate feel, with Cartwright singing about his jealous heart (“I'll Cry”), the ache of desire (“I Need You Now”) and the honesty that fuels his songs. “You gotta live the life you sing about in your songs,” he offers on one track. “Always stand for the right and show the wrong.”
Local opener Drift Mouth (aka Lou Poster) takes a similarly unvarnished approach in his roughed-up folk tunes, which sound as if they were mined from the earth rather than recorded to tape in a studio setting.