Bill Orcutt: A History of Everyone CD
A History of Everyone is an album of songs: minstrel songs, holiday songs, hymns, marches, cowboy songs, Disney songs, work songs, Delta blues. The original tunes themselves are nothing special, well known, but not particularly well-regarded. Most would be filler on a mid-'60s Doris Day or Burl Ives LP.
What Orcutt does with them however is remarkable: expanding upon techniques developed on 2011's How the Thing Sings (EMEGO 128CD/LP) and incorporating ideas forged since his recording of "The Star Spangled Banner" during his 2012 tour, Orcutt interrogates the apparent banality of his material, subjecting it to discontinuity, disjuncture and a fractured repetition that is disturbing and revelatory. Titled after a line from Gertrude Stein's The Making of Americans and inspired by the scholarship of Elijah Waldand Eric Lott, A History of Everyone is a bold re-writing of an important historical thread, an interpretation of a lost text and a bewildering extension upon Orcutt's already singular language.