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P.G. Six: Starry Mind 


P.G. Six

Album: Starry Mind
Label: Drag City

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In the past decade, New York City folkie Pat Gubler has recorded a series of weird, gorgeous records under the name of P.G. Six, with a revolving cast of musicians. But for the fifth P.G. Six LP, Starry Mind, Gubler put himself at the forefront of a real band that imbued his eccentric songs with rock ’n’ roll grit and breathtaking majesty. A skilled guitar player whose style has been likened to the late British six-string legend Bert Jansch, Gubler teams up with second guitarist Bob Bannister to make Starry Mind a rousing, subtly virtuosic electric folk record that recalls Fairport Convention at its most rocking, or the prettiest, most exploratory jams by Television. While the sound of Starry Mind doesn’t change much over the course of eight tracks—the groove is mid-tempo, the guitars wiry, the melodies repetitive but sticky, and Gubler’s vocals understated and occasionally accented by harmonies from bassist Debby Schwartz—the material is more eclectic than it appears. The opener, “January,” runs an Irish folk traditional through a tense, knotty arrangement, while the hard-rocking psychedelia of “Palace” and the off-kilter blues of “Wrong Side Of Yesterday” hit with equal force while moving in opposite directions. The dusky acoustic strumming of “Days Hang Heavy” finds Gubler on familiar footing, but overall, Starry Mind finds P.G. Six beefed up and just starting to hit its stride.