Marie/Lepanto

Marie/Lepanto – Tenkiller (album review)

by Woody on January 29, 2018

I’ve been really reconnecting with my Grateful Dead roots lately and one thing I’ve noticed is how much I enjoy Jerry’s voice when he’s singing with someone, be it Brent, Donna, Bobby or the ladies from the JGB. I’d say Will Johnson of Centr0-Matic and Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster of Water Liars both fit that description for me. Whether it be Scott Danborn for Johnson or Andrew Bryant for Justin, having another voice along for the ride always seems to pull something extra out of them.

So needless to say, having them play off each other on their debut is absolutely mesmerizing. It is like someone took Centro-Matic and Water Liars (two of the most underrated bands of the last 20 years and blended them together. Will & Justin’s voices sound like they were meant for each other on an album of dark and oft heartbreaking Americana.

Patient, Patient Man is a gorgeous haunting tune with a wonderful finish that sees Will take the lead. Famished Raven, is another winner from Johnson that deals with youth slipping away. It is stripped down more consistent with his solo effort from last year.Justin’s stripped down effort is the title track that closes the album. A tune that was inspired by the devastation that Native Americans felt as the White man made their way West. High Desert & Simple Scenes are two more winners where Kinkel-Schuster takes the lead.

I had high hopes for this album after reading the press release. Its met them and more. It is a wonderful album that deserves your attention.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marie/Lepanto is here

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Will Johnson & Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster have joined forces to release an album under the name of Marie/Lepanto. The idea was hatched during a living room tour they did together. These are two of my favorite voices in music and I can’t emphasize how happy I am about this. The tune below kicks ass. Get excited for this one.

In the sunken lands of Arkansas along I-55, there’s a road sign that directs you to a pair of tiny, hardscrabble towns in the Delta. It reads: Marie/Lepanto and resides roughly between where each artist grew up: Justin in Arkansas and Will in Missouri. Alternating between lofi folk and distorted indie rock, ‘Tenkiller’ finds their two voices shadowing one another, with Johnson’s battered vocals and Kinkel-Schuster’s wavering tenor complementing one another. Many of the songs then funnel into expansive instrumental breaks. “Inverness” segues into the fingerpicking, creaky “Rest Be Mine.” The widescreen waltz “High Desert” coexists with the ghostly title track, named for a lake in Oklahoma and inspired by Justin’s reading the book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Marie/Lepanto is here

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