Richard_drueding-wissahickon_span3
April 1999

Richard Drueding/Stephe Ferraro
Wissahickon
Dreambox Media

As haunted and rambling as the Northwest Philadelphia creek that inspired its name, Wissahickon (Dreambox Media/ EAR-1033; 48:43) showcases the inspired arrangements and play of guitarist Richard Drueding and drummer Stephe Ferraro. The duo's earthy work evokes very specific, often touching moods and places-from Drueding's awe-struck high ringing, resonant play on "Teaching the Blind to Drive," and Ferraro's knuckling swamp rhythms on "The Mouse That Heard," to the heady dark rhythmic road trip "Eyes Alien Jim." Unique approaches are the norm in Drueding's world-like the rhythmless, bent-note freedom of "Bounce Back (I'm Gonna Ride 'Til I Feel Better)," which evokes introspection and hope with harmonic play and the gentle squeak of fingers on the fretboard. Boundaries also dissolve on "The Freelance Pallbearers," a brassy acoustic romp which feels like a rustic jump boogie. Title track "Wissahickon" puts multiple textures in churning, purposeful motion, with Gloria Galante's harp accents bubbling through in waves of color. These complex, colorful instrumental compositions clearly have stories to tell.

Originally published in April 1999
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