PAUL METZGER - improvisations on modified banjo & guitar CD, Chairkickers




“In a time where an increasing deluge of acoustically-oriented recordings are being pumped up with words like ‘iconoclastic’ or ‘transcendental,’ it can sometimes be difficult for the adventurous listener to have any clue as to how to separate the wheat from the chaff. Hype and hyperbole be damned; this is the real deal. Metzger’s title ‘modified banjo’ could tend to confuse even the most discerning among us. While it is indeed true that a visual inspection will reveal an instrument so mutated that it bears little resemblance to that simultaneously venerated and reviled backwoods icon that it once was (he has added more than a dozen strings, a sitar bridge and otherwise mutated a traditionally limiting instrument into something entirely unique), it is ultimately one’s ears that will yield the most incredulous reactions and ask the hardest questions after being fed their particular set of stimuli, as it is ultimately Metzger’s approach to the instrument and the sounds and melodies he wrenches from it that are the greatest and most significant modifications being made here. Metzger’s singular, irreverent approach and fluid dexterity in attack are made evident in his seamless hybrids of North Indian and Asian influences, jazz and folk forms through a vehicle that typically ruts its wheels in Americana hill country and are truly unprecedented.”