Sometimes it’s easier to write songs about lizard knights on a mystical quest, than to always draw directly from the same personal well of sentiment all the time. Peter Nichols, guitarist of GREAT VALLEY, said something like this to me after a performance when I spoke briefly with him about their latest release LIZARDS OF CAMELOT (out on NNA TAPES and soon vinyl-ized by FEEDING TUBE RECORDS). Here’s a live version (from HASSLE NIGHT 2/1 @ LILYPAD) of ‘Ride Across The Moat Of Love’ from this release.
One of the things that ‘Art’ often does is hide something so we can have the pleasure of discovery, the joy of the hunt. LIZARDS OF CAMELOT has been getting a lot of critical attention because it does this so beautifully (see band’s FB page for links). Checking out these reviews is fun because the work has prompted some very poetic descriptive writing about it. The studio production is nicely balanced, making for a clean listening experience without burying the album’s essence in flaring bombast. As a writer for NNA put it, this is “ultimate bedroom fantasy” meaning, presumably, that you are meant to lie back in your bedroom, light up some incense, and let your mind’s eye follow along with the adventure. What will you find on this trip? NOT TELLIN’! But the journey is worth it all by itself, being richly textured with well-paced sensorial soundscapes that evoke otherworlds in a friendly bubble of floating psychedelic imagery. One video from this project has been released and gives a sense of the playful ‘joie d’esprit’ GREAT VALLEY typically inspire as/in artists.
Hearing about this project, lot’s of groovy folk wanted to contribute (who wouldn’t?) and the Brattleboro duo of Peter Nichols and Jo Miller-Gamble welcomed plenty of Vermonter friends into the circle (Chris Weisman, David Lineal, Christine Brown, Luke Csehak, Francis Carr, Zach Phillips and Ruth Garbus). Of particular note is the wonderful cover art inked by John Broadley, reminiscent of illustrations from the inside of those fantastical library books that absorbed you so before you’d even learned to read. Prepare to be so absorbed again.
CHECK OUT OUR WENT THERE SECTION. SEND US YOUR VIDEO and/or PHOTOS and REVIEWS FROM RECENT SHOWS YOU’VE ATTENDED!!! SHOW US AND EVERYBODY WHERE YOU WENT!! AND WHAT YOU SAW/HEARD!! C’MON.