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Cirque Du Soleil
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Cirque Du Soleil
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Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
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Time Line
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Amos Lee
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Julius Curcio
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Alligator Shoes
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Spotlights [Issue # 7 ]
John Vanderslice:

By Dean Truitt

In an era of fast food culture and paint-by-numbers imagination, John Vanderslice has created a sonic masterpiece with his latest release, Cellar Door. The San Francisco resident spent 420 hours in his own studio, Tiny Telephone, to craft a unique collection of cinematic, emotional atmospheres that underscore tales of isolation, regret, loss, and gentle defiance. However, one should not come to the invalid conclusion that the album’s tone is depressing. As only a brilliant artist can achieve, Vanderslice’s songs ultimately manage to rise above the difficult themes, which provide the listener with cathartic pleasure and resigned hope.

Unlike many gifted solo artists, Vanderslice generously shares credit for his artistic triumph with the album’s co-producer and engineer, Scott Solter. He praises, “Once you record with him [Solter], there’s a certain approach he has that you’re just not going to find anywhere else.”

Vanderslice, a devout audiophile, always insists upon recording with analog equipment.  He believes that many digital recordings of today, while technically flawless, lack the warmth and depth of Rock’s classic albums.  He laments, “People can’t help but to correct stuff [when recording] and I just think things need to be absolutely uncorrected and subverted . . . Rock and Roll has a little bit of violence and a little bit of messiness.” To capture the various moods throughout the album, the multifaceted musician foregoes sterile perfection in favor of personality and character. In comparing his process to the clinical approach most musicians take, the singer observes, “It’s unbelievable how much you can get away with and people forget that when they’re recording. They start . . . obsessing and that is the death of energy in music.” 

Cellar Door is clearly an apt title because the songs give listeners the sense that they are experiencing intimate, genuine beauty. Anyone who craves masterful songwriting and passionate performances will savor every moment of John Vanderslice’s most powerful creation to date.

Cellar Door

John Vanderslice Cellar Door

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