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In the hills of East Alabama, Willem Maker spent more than a decade honing his songwriting skills in virtual secrecy, but in 2007, he chose to step beyond bedroom demos and occasional acoustic performances to release Stars Fell On, a rock record of a debut which was recorded and mixed entirely at his own Foxhole studio on
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Poetic garage-rock-and-blues â€¦ pastoral portraits of rebirth and renewal in the isolation of rural life with a style that suggests influences from Charlie Patton to Crazy Horse â€¦ songs about transformation and living a life outside the lines â€¦ certainly encourages comparisons to the garage-rock of the White Stripes or the Black Keys, [but] the lyrics dispense with the familiar riffing on the blues form. Willem Maker presents garage-rock with a self-referential modernist poet as lyricist. No Depression
Of late Fat Possum has gotten into the reissue business. Not reissuing lost nuggets from the 50's or even pre-war blues mind you, but instead lost classics from the past year or so. First there was the reissue of AA Bondy's terrific solo debut and now the reissue of Willem Maker's self released record Stars Fell On. "Red As A Rose" is a trance blues number that should appeal to fans of Charlie Parr and William Elliott Whitmore. It's a bit busy in parts, but when the fog clears and you get Willem's possessed vocals and incendiary guitar it's pretty special. Songs:
Fat Possum has a genius for finding unknown musicians on tractors, as with the late Asie Payton or, in Willem Maker's case, in an Alabama cabin where he has been anonymously making music for years. And how refreshing it is in this day of proud ignorance, which usually manifests itself in remarks like "Well, I just write from the heart, you know," to read an interview by an artist that begins with a quotation from poet Mary Oliver. Maker's album Stars Fell On is comprised of hard-rocking, bluesy tunes that could have only come from a home recording [from