The Bliss of Myth by Duke Garwood and Paul May

Release date: May 9, 2020
Label: Self-Released

Well, this was a nice surprise.

Lockdown’s bearing down on us all more than ever (and I truly hope that this finds whoever reads this safe, well and secure – physically, financially, mentally and spiritually), and just as a wall was hit in my own self, Duke Garwood provides a salve for us all with The Bliss of Myth, a collection of recordings made with drummer Paul May and passed on to us now that they’ve mended the machine they were recorded on.

The heavy tone that is very particular to Duke’s guitar, as well as his own whispering as close to the microphone as possible, is perfect for this current situation. It draws us in closer and surrounds us with sound so that this feels like being party to an intimate spiritual conversation rather than merely a bunch of tunes. It gets your attention without you even noticing.

These aren’t just sketches bunged out on a whim; these are fully-formed ideas and compositions that take in a broad spectrum of Duke’s work to date. There are thoughtful meditations such as opener ‘Neon Rain’, shamanistic desert trips like ‘Volcanic Syrup’ and some of the calmest, mellowest funk & soul you could ever wish for in the form of ‘Turn on the Lights’. And that’s just the first three tracks. Elsewhere, the reeds are broken out for the hingeless, glorious cacophony of ‘Caesar’ and a closing joy of ‘Stone Groovy’ which, quite frankly, is exactly what it says it is.

If you are already a fan, you’ll already have this. If you’re skating around the edges and want to know what the fuss is all about then this serves both as a gentle introduction and a sampler for the wider universe that is Duke Garwood’s music, stuff that seems to just politely work its way into your being. Available now at a “Pay what you want, if you can” price from his website, and get a rather nice metaphor for apples thrown in for good measure. This is something I put on today as a bit of background to today’s working from home, and I ended up writing about this instead, which will no doubt mean that I have some explaining to do tomorrow.

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