Reviews of Interstates

Magic Crow Records MCR - 1002R

Interstates cover


Geoff Bartley Interstates MCR-1002R
CD reissue on Magic Crow Records
by Scott Alarik, The Boston Globe

"It is always tempting for musicians who spend much of their time traveling to write songs about the road. On his second album, Geoff Bartley gives us a road not of lonesome cliche, but of thoughtful solitude and startling vision. At night, his highway is "like a dance floor and the stars like flares." At dawn "there's music in the white noise, the faintest fife and fiddle band." Bartley's brilliant fingerpicking, like his writing, is spare and cleanly crafted. His fingers dance on the happy, hopping, Joseph Spence-like "Death is the Robber" while the frisky, ragtimey "July" is a dazzling showcase of technique and humor. The album is dominated by "Sanderlings", an ambitious, near-epic prose poem. Bartley's softly spoken words roll together into an eerie, compelling music as his guitar drones simply. Alone on a Cape Cod road late at night, he wonders about migrating birds, how they can find their way. Flute and clay whistle echo like far, flying birds; and the sudden thunder of tom-toms and cymbal make the mood dark, distant and haunting as it becomes a migration of the mind far afield in the New England night. It's a stunningly original, boldly successful exploration of the limits of song."

from the mailbag . . .

April 19, 2005
What a pleasure to hear INTERSTATES again after all these years, and digital too! Sanderlings is still a magnificent piece of work in my mind, and something you should forever be proud of. But I'd forgotten how good the other songs are... you used to do New England Towns all the time. I haven't heard you do a full set in a few years, but I hope you still revisit these songs. You need to remind people of what an excellent catalog you have of your own songs and that you are more than just a great interpreter of blues and traditional music. I had (this record) years ago on vinyl... it fell by the wayside somewhere, but this CD is not leaving my sight.


Back to Interstates main page