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You Need to Look Closer at John Mailander

New release John Mailander

John Mailander’s Forecast – New Release

‘Look Closer’

Out May 7, 2021

By Rob Dickens

John Mailander is a maestro fiddle player based in Nashville, a member of the outfit Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, collaborator with artists including Billy Strings and Joy Williams and…now…a full album with his new group John Mailander’s Forecast, out May 7, 2021 on Nine Athens Music.

Largely long-form instrumental, it is a weighty avant-garde brew of Americana and jazz and a few other genres brilliantly executed and presented. But the added attraction of Look Closer is the inclusion of more traditional song structures with two talented guest vocalists, Kristina Train and Maya De Vitry.

The album was recorded live in July, 2020, with masks and distancing. Most of the players had not played live with other musicians in person for months due to the pandemic – that may explain the extra layer of joy that exudes here.

The full line-up is Mailander on fiddle, loops, gong, wurlitzer, with Ethan Jodziewicz on bass, Jake Stargel on guitar, Chris Lippincott on pedal and lap steel, Mark Raudabaugh on drums, and David Williford on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet.

Mailander chose to make his upcoming record under the ensemble name “Forecast”, rather than under only his own name. “On Look Closer, I wrote and selected the music specifically for the band, rather than accommodating to it after the fact,” he explains. “A lot of the new music was arranged together, as a band, during the sessions. My vision is that Forecast could be a collective of musicians that have been involved in the development of this music, not just on this new record but also in the past and future”.

Re the recording, Mailander adds: “It was the first time any of us had really played with other musicians in months”, explains Mailander, “and I think the sheer joy of that feeling of rediscovery and connection, even spaced widely apart with masks on, really comes through on the album”.

It sure does come through. Look closer refers to the album title – it should also be regarded as an obligation to submerge in this masterful record.

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Author: Rob Dickens

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