R. Keenan Lawler: Music for the Bluegrass States
Native Kentuckian R. Keenan Lawler speaks a private, fundamental language via his trademark metal-bodied resonator guitar. With an intensely focused technique, he sets bluegrass- and blues-inflected tonalities against dense masses of harmonic overtones and sustained textures. It is a mesmerizing sound, one that conjures the effect of various global trance-musics and has beguiled a series of collaborators including Pelt, Matmos, Charalambides and My Morning Jacket. Inhabiting the mysterious string-space between Tony Conrad and John Fahey, Lawler's is a wholly original idiom of music that brims with near-religious exhaltation and spectral, gothic dread -- a daring plunge through the darkened brambles of a particularly raw Americana.