If there?s any justice, I have a feeling we?ll hear Philadelphia-based Mike Tamburo?s name spoken frequently in the same breath as other recent acoustic guitar luminaries like Jack Rose, Sir Richard Bishop, and James Blackshaw. Although it?s an unfortunately limited CDR release, ?Dance Enis Dance? is about on par with any of the recent works by the aforementioned names and quite unique in its own right.
Of course, Tamburo is not just a one instrument kind of guy. Throughout the thirty minute piece, he utilizes acoustic guitar, Tibetan bowls, chromatic harmonica, hammered dulcimer, and more. The track itself almost unfolds like a narrative, and the disc is packaged with a short essay where a narrator gradually losing hearing recounts experiences with deaf musicians. I couldn?t tell whether it?s autobiographical or not, but is there anything more frightening for musicians and music lovers than hearing loss? The essay is a bit vague, but the music itself is highly evocative and quite harrowing.
?Dance Enis Dance? begins in a familiar Appalachian folk style with a finger-picked guitar that continually picks up steam and eventually drops off into a minimal tolling chime. Tibetan bowls begin to scrape slowly as the track veers off into the abstract with various distorted voices and effects. Melody returns in a big way with several minutes of absolutely gorgeous hammered dulcimer. The track eventually ends with slide guitar, which forebodingly lilts and eventually works itself into a dissonant, tuneless cacophony.
With only 100 copies available from Barl Fire, ?Dance Enis Dance? certainly won?t reach as many people as it should. Still, it?s a remarkably varied piece that will certainly please those quick enough to snatch up the remaining discs. For those who miss out, hope for a re-issue and look forward to whatever Tamburo offers up next as he continues to emerge as a distinctive voice from the underground. 8/10 -- Franklin Teagle (24 July, 2007)