Saint Stephens Dream
Garagecow Ensemble performs the original music of singer-songwriter Douglas Imbrogno of West Virginia. The ensemble's first recording, 'Saint Stephen's Dream,' is both a record to be enjoyed by itself and the soundtrack to a two-act piece of performance theater of the same title. The well-crafted, lyrically intriguing songs are brought to life with both elaborate and elegantly simple production values - modern folk-pop with electronica and folk-rock flourishes. An 'Appalachian Beck,' the sound has been described. SELECT MUSICIANS JOIN IN on electronic keyboard, electric and acoustic guitars, dulcimer, cello, flute, mandolin, drumkit and hand drum. 'What makes this album a success,' writes a reviewer in the alternative arts magazine Graffiti, 'is Imbrogno's focus on his strength: gentle, well-sung folk-pop with an unabashed Celestial Seasonings bent. The Joni Mitchell-esque 'Green, Green Hills of Earth' and the Buddhist-in-England meditation on the title track... may invite charges of retro-hippieism, but are simply lovely songs nonetheless... Imbrogno's finest moment occurs on 'I Never Slept with Allen Ginsberg,' which reminisces about an evening around the campfire with the late Beat godfather and makes some clever points about ambition and celebrity: 'With just a single gesture I could maybe share his bed/But it's not his body that I want, but what's inside his head...'' THESE ARE SONGS worth repeated listens. That's not only because of their intriguing, multi-instrumental and multi-vocal treatments, but because of lyrics worth pondering and savoring. In a world rife with throwaway lines, easy rhymes and off-the-shelf sentiment, 'Saint Stephen's Dream' is full of deeply felt, richly delivered songs that reveal new nuances after each listen.