Led by drummer José Medeles (Breeders, 1939 Ensemble, Revival Drum Shop), Railroad Cadences & Melancholic Anthems (due out May 20th via Jealous Butcher Records) is a drummer’s tribute to guitarist and DIY iconoclast John Fahey. Joined for a series of guitar and drum duets with M. Ward, experimental guitarist Marisa Anderson, and Chris Funk (Decemberists, Stephen Malkmus), it’s a genuinely honorific project, featuring not just Fahey compositions, but rather a series of improvised rendezvous inspired and informed by his looseness and rhythmic idiosyncrasies. Though Medeles knew and had interacted with all of his collaborators, the record represents the first time he’s played on a record with Anderson and Funk (though he’s contributed to Ward’s indie pop band She & Him).
Recording in the comfortable setting of Bocce Recording in Vancouver, WA, in 2020, these duets are playful and spiritually deep, presented with snapshot clarity Medeles likens to the recordings of Alan Lomax or Chris Strachwitz, “who boldly captured field recording of Southern chain gangs and juke joint raconteurs decades ago. The result here is similar: pure and honest recordings.”
Today Glide is excited to premiere “Please Send To J.F.,” an aptly named track that is a clear standout on the new record. Set to charmingly nostalgic vintage footage, the video finds Medeles collaborating with guitar wizard Marisa Anderson. With Medeles adding subtle but poignant drum textures that enhance the moodiness of the acoustic guitar, Anderson channels Fahey in a way that is both a fitting tribute while also presenting her own unique style. Together, these two talented musicians manage to create a piece of music that moves along at a lovely pace along its own winding road, leaving the listener feeling soothed and enchanted. There is a lived-in earthiness to this track that only adds to the chemistry between these two musicians.
Medeles describes the process behind the song:
“When I heard Marisa’s slight laugh at the top the track that set the tone. I knew we were in for a good journey. Inspiration for the name came from a thought of finding an old battered cassette tape and a possible final wish that simply read ‘Please Send to J.F.'”