5/30 Nightlight: electro-acoustic banjo fun

Woody deadceo at gmail.com
Wed May 27 01:18:45 EDT 2009

hey folks-

I'll be performing solo on my "electro-acoustic banjo" this Saturday
at Nightlight with a bunch of bands (also in Asheville Thursday for
other NC folks).  Info and a recent review from Chicago Reader


May 30, 10P @ Nightlight
405 1/2 W. Rosemary St., Chapel Hill, NC
* Uncle Woody Sullender
* w/ Actual Persons Living or Dead, Schooner, & Impossible Arms

Not too many musicians have redefined what the banjo is about the way
Woody Sullender has. On his latest and best album, Live at Barkenhoff
(K=FCnstlerh=E4user Worpswede/Dead CEO), the former Chicagoan evokes
stringed instruments as disparate as John Fahey-style acoustic guitar
and the Chinese lute called the pipa, all the while continuing to
purge his playing of any traces of idiom=97a tough task, given that few
sounds bring to mind a specific genre as inevitably as banjo evokes
bluegrass. He subtly augments his rangy extended improvisations with
computer noises=97usually either soothing drones or screechy violinlike
sawing=97but the focus always stays on his playing.
Here and there Sullender uses unusual techniques=97harmonics, string
rubbing, percussive clattering=97but most of the time he sticks with
conventional plucking. Though he retains the instrument=92s dry, brittle
snap, he upends its familiar ambling flow, using tightly coiled, fast-
flying tangles of notes and sprawling, meditative arpeggios. Some of
the pieces use prewritten motifs and some are totally improvised, but
each progresses with a clear logic, rising and falling, accelerating
and decelerating, and thickening and dispersing as though telling a
 =97Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

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