THE NELS CLINE SINGERS: An Oral History (1 of 4)
Having just celebrated our 10th anniversary here at the Crypto Nerve Center, we have another milestone upon us: The Nels Cline Singers are also reaching their first decade (and four albums’ worth) of delicate lyricism, groove-laden fuzz-funk workouts and face-melting sonic deviance – all without any discernible singing.
Since joining the critically lauded rock group Wilco in 2004, Nels Cline has emerged in recent years as one of the most respected, argued-over and unclassifiable musicians active today – memorably described by Jazz Times as “the world’s most dangerous guitarist” and by bestselling author David Carr (Night of the Gun) as "one of the best in any genre.” Ironically, Cline formed the Singers in 2001 not entirely on his own accord but at the urging of versatile percussionist Scott Amendola, a New Jersey-born Black Sabbath and Ornette Coleman acolyte who had gained prominence in San Francisco's heady, dot com-era music scene of the early 90s though his collaborations with guitarist Charlie Hunter and saxophonist Phillip Greenlief.
Buy these...you will buuuuuy these...
It was Greenlief who introduced Cline to Amendola, who then brought in Colorado native Devin Hoff, a young contrabassist equally at ease with Norwegian Black Metal as he was with improvised skronkitude. What emerged was a impeccably pedigreed and potently eclectic band of three successive generations of vanguard virtuosos whose buzz has only grown with each subsequent release – Instrumentals (2002), The Giant Pin (2004), Draw Breath (2007) and their new world music-influenced double-CD Initiate (2010), which Tim Niland of Music and More recently called “a fascinating and thrilling journey.”
With the release of Initiate on APRIL 13, we at the Beast thought we’d forgo the usual promo interviews (although don’t get us wrong -- we did those, too) and instead pay homage to all the dogged and loyal scribes -- famous, infamous and anonymous – who have provided us with ten years of solid and devoted journalism, opinions, rants, interviews, whining and live reviews on the NCS. Coupled with brand spankin’ new interviews with Nels, Scott and Devin, we have fashioned a musical journey of three accomplished and twisted April fools using the “found voices” of the past decade. Enjoy!