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07/01/2013
Article
When it comes to minimalism and austerity, Brushy One-String has ’em all beat.

As evidenced by Bruce Daigrepont’s recent solo accordion recording Jamais de la Vie and Spencer Bohren’s lap steel extravaganza Tempered Steel, less certainly seems to be more these days. But when it comes to minimalism and austerity, Brushy One-String has ’em all beat. The Jamaican songwriter-vocalist not only performs solo but plays an acoustic guitar strung only with a single string. Buy on AmazonBuy on iTunesHis live performances are overwhelmingly charismatic, which doesn’t lose anything in the translation when it comes to this one-of-a-kind debut. These eight tunes are equally as passionate, almost Pentecostal but with a Jamaican edge. Though the thought of a mere mortal with a single string hints at monotony, One-String makes it work by altering his infectious, bouncy riffs and tempos while delivering messages of humanity, equality and corruption in his thick Jamaican accent. A couple of tunes are more lighthearted. The fast-and-furious “Chicken in the Corn” erupts into a brief rap segment while “One String Play” appears to be about his musical identity. It’s delightfully raw but various percussion and string sideman keep it from getting overly so while never overshadowing their frontman. Quite possibly the most unusual recording of the year.