Man Out Of Time
(2021 - New House Music- USA)
A boldly pronounced 4th release by master Dave Newhouse (founder of The Muffins) that spins all lovers of collision music consisting of Canterbury ('In For A Penny', 'Fred's Dream', and '4 Steps Back') , out jazz ('Red Ball Express'), interstellar escapades flown on wings of dreams ('World Song' with Carla Diratz on vocals, and 'Silver Age'), big band on a magic carpet (opening cut 'What's The Big Idea' which was originally a Muffins tune halved up before it got properly released and fully credited), RIO with added eastern motifs dipped in Canterbury ice cream cone ('4 Steps Back'- the one extended cut at 10:45, and even so, you will wish this lasted another 10 minutes or more), and sleepy pastel cloud puffs like 'These Days', that also will thrill the Canterbury crowd. 'Man Out Of Time' is the most amazing and stunning work so far in the Newhouse catalog of treasures. And this said, having owned and followed the music of this man and his projects since the 1978, when first vinyl album appeared to the delight of American inventive music lovers of the Canterbury kind. A detail of each composition and the history/intent/birth or all, is spelled out on the Bandcamp page (see my link for readers to buy and explore in the header of this review). A cutting and a surplus of delights.
A detail of musical artists who contribute are: Dave Newhouse - keyboards (1-6), woodwinds (1- 3,5,6), voice (3), drums (4), yelling (4), electric piano (7,8), bass clarinet (7), saxophone (4)/ Sean Rickman - drums (1-3,5,6)/ Jerry King - bass (1,2,6), trumpet (5), trombone (1,5)/ Mark Stanley - guitar (1,5)/ Carla Diratz - vocals (2)/ Bret Hart - guitar (2)/ Dereck Higgins - bass (3)/ Rich O'Meara - vibes, marimba (3,8)/ Alanna Cohen Duvall - voice (3)/ Guy Segers - bass (5)/ Forrest Fang - violin (5)/ Gary Rouzer - cello (5)/ and Fred Frith - guitar (6). Additional support includes Mike Potter - mixing and mastering at Orion Studios/ Eric Kearns - digital layout at PhinBot Graphics/ and Anne Hage - cover illustration.
Most assuredly, Dave Newhouse did not get bogged down or lessen his sense of talent during the Covid world. In fact, it appears he took advantage, magnified his skills, and listened to the muses he often depends on for inspiration. This set of works are not only distinct in their presentation but palpable, ultimately tasteful, and brain grow food for the alert. As a side note Dave also took up painting to add to the creative world he lives in. Other tidbits I discovered by speaking with him one very early morning about the album are that the concept of 'Man Out of Time' was most inspired by a "life sketch" his wife (Anne) did back in her art classes in college. The album cover features that very drawing, although they decided to have it standing up verses the angle it was originally drawn (which was a woman laying down). Dave said this drawing has been framed in their house for many years and he had always connected it to a album called 'Man Out of Time'. Another important change for the album is that Dave used a new software called Reaper Studio. He had previously been using something called VEGAS (which is actually a film editing software), but he felt is was time to begin using a pure music software. At age 68 he admitted is was not easy, and consisted of big learning curves, You Tube videos and much trial and error. In the end, he stated he is comfortable with it all now and proud of the accomplishment. So well he should be. And one last firsts for this album I will quote Dave: "This was also the first album that Mike Potter and I mixed and mastered entirely remotely. I used to drive down to Baltimore to Orion studios and sit there with Mike as he mixed. So this was very different for us because of the Pandemic. But we settled into it nicely, and I think we’ll continue this way. My wife and I are both double vaxxed, but we don’t like to go out still". So some very interesting facts as to all he went through to make this set of tracks. If you ask me was it worth it, I say without a pause, yes it certainly was. In fact, this is a tremendous release and not to be missed. As common for New House Music, this CD was released in a limited edition of 300. When they are gone, you will have to settle for the download, but having this music on a fold out digipak compact disc sure is nice, and it is for keeps. MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 9 - 19 - 2021