Following on the heels of Origin Myths – one of the year’s best so far – San Francisco label Tompkins Square returns with Shakedown in Slabtown, another stellar project from Sheffield, UK guitarist Bobby Lee. Originally recorded in 2019, this isn’t new material, and although in the same instrumental psych-folk-country vein of Origin Myths, it also deviates in a few key ways.
Whereas Origin Myths stretches the boundaries of solo acoustic guitar backed by a healthy dose of reverb, Shakedown in Slabtown finds Lee accompanied by Mark Armstrong on electric bass and keys and Guy Whitaker on drums. Overall the music is still rooted in twangy psychedelia, a relaxing compendium of dreamy folk music. But the addition of drum and bass definitely creates a fuller, less ephemeral sound. It may be markedly different from Origin Myths, but Shakedown in Slabtown is still utterly compelling and nonetheless beguiling.