Ambient Americana

If you’ve been listening to Echoes for a while, you’ve heard me talk about Ambient Americana. It’s a sound rooted in Ennio Morricone’s spaghetti western soundtracks
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Expanded)

and Ry Cooder’s Paris, Texas and Southern Comfort film scores.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
In contemporary terms its artists like Euphoria, Sumner McKane, Lanterna and Tristeza.

Some of my favorite albums in the genre include Horizontal by Moodswings, A double CD album of deeply chilled ambiences and quietly anthemic hymns, that pulses on a sea of chirping sequencer patterns, swirling synthesizers and the pedal steel guitar of B.J. Cole. It was an Echoes CD of the Month.
Horizontal

Slider by Bruce Kaphan. Kaphan takes all the beauty of the pedal steel guitar: the plaintive wail, the human vocal quality, the uncanny pitch shifts, then surgically removes the country corn, and sends it across southwestern landscapes and out into space.
Ambient Excursions For Pedal Steel Guitar

and Far From Enough by Viktor Krauss. An intimate, yet cinematic CD with great performances from Bill Frisell and Jerry Douglas and wonderful atmospheric and minimalist songs by Krauss.
Far from Enough

Check ‘em out. I’m trying to get that Ambient Americana phrase to catch on, so spread the word. There should be an article about it in the August “guitar” issue of Jazziz Magazine.
I’ll also have a piece on Andreas Vollenweider in there.

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