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April 2009

The Beyman Bros
Memories of Summer as a Child
Dharma Moon

If you happened to stumble upon a new ambient-folk/bluegrass instrumental CD spearheaded by satirist Chri-stopher Guest of This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman, we’d excuse your guffaw. But Memories of Summer as a Child is no joke. We think. Guest, Spinal Tap musical director CJ Vanston and David Nichtern star in an appealing collection of original songs with a few amusing titles, photos by Jamie Lee Curtis, and laugh-out-loud liner notes mocking all that have come before. It’s released by Dharma Moon, which was created by “Midnight at the Oasis” writer Nichtern, as music to celebrate vibrancy, self-awareness … and yoga.

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Jamie Lee Curtis

The Beyman Bros (L to R): Christopher Guest, CJ Vanston and David Nichtern

Of course, the Beyman Bros—all established musicians, by the way—aren’t brothers at all, just good friends for life. Their easy intimacy’s established right away with “Tulong” and “Man of La Mantra,” droll titles hiding seriously textured music. It all ranges from relaxing, grooving sounds to reverential new age on “Triad” and “Hidden Passage.” Serious alt-folk types may reject the repeated sentiments and glossy undertones—there’s drum programming—but melodic, smooth types should like it just fine.

A mandolin (Guest), accordion (Vanston) and guitar (Nichtern) trio with appealing musical scope, inspired soloing and melodies both mournful and uplifting? Seriously good stuff.

Originally published in April 2009
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