Scott Tuma & Mike Weis
RIYL = Zelionople, Niagara Falls, Grails
Under the name of Scott Tuma, I have not found one unworthy release. After the demise of Souled American, Mr. Tuma’s solo work has been impeccable. While I’ve watched as a steady stream of average to incredible instrumental guitar players have jumped on the John Fahey train, Tuma has carved out a little niche of instrumental guitarisms that are all his own. And those guitarisms, those bits of laconic acoustic strumming and plucking, haphazardly layered on the backs of each other like war corpses just ooze a certain hollow beauty and cultivate a miniature hope that is as resonant as the Tuma’s wavery-stringed guitar. I can’t harbor anything but pure love for the guy for such a purity of sound imagination that seems solely his. So what could his coupling with Zelienople’s Mike Weis add to the mix that wasn’t already there? Apparently a whole lot. In fact, I’m fairly convinced that the success of Taradiddle weighs more heavily on Mr’ Weis’ shoulders than Tuma’s. Sure, my previous adulation holds true for Tuma. He still provides that mystically friendly, abstract guitar to the table with nary a miscued note, but it is Weis’s unconventional patter, his cymbal scrapings and clinking bells that swirl up a back drop that of commotion that fits Tuma’s playing so perfectly that it makes a Tuma admirer, such as myself, rethink the possibilities within his guitar. Taradiddle is every bit as breezy and drone-esque as Tuma’s previous work, but with an added umph that really anchors things. Weis provides a hefty dissonance that, coupled with Tuma’s fingers, has birthed this new pastoral doom that is as bright as the summer sun and as dark as a coffin buried six feet under. Really wondrous stuff.
"Dropsy" from Taradidle