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SXSW 2008 has ended
Sunday, March 16 • 12:00am - 12:30am
Christopher Rees

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Christopher Rees returns with his third and finest album ‘Cautionary Tales’ on September 3rd, preceded by the single Bottom Dollar on August 27th Following the epic orchestral intensity of his 2004 debut The Sweetest Ache, “Seriously amazing stuff” (NME) and the rustic warmth of 2005’s Alone On A Mountain Top, “Deliciously raw and spellbinding…A wonderful homespun triumph” (MOJO), Cautionary Tales combines the string-laden sophistication of the first with the intimate, rootsy qualities of the second to stunning effect. The surprise success of Alone On A Mountain Top, which charmed and won audiences around the world from Cardiff to Canada and New York to New Zealand, has honed Rees’ skills as a live performer and song writer. Touring extensively with kindred spirits William Elliott Whitmore, Willard Grant Conspiracy, Freakwater, The Deadstring Brothers and Kelly Joe Phelps amongst others has also empowered him on stage and in the studio. Once again recorded and produced by Rees himself, mostly in an isolated mid Wales mountain retreat, Cautionary Tales is culled from a prolific list of over forty songs. The result is an inspiring showcase of the diverse depths of his impassioned song writing, spanning everything from soulful country and banjo driven Appalachian folk to raucous delta blues/rock and sublime string-soaked ballads. Sharing the microphone for the very first time with an illustrious cast of guest singers, Cautionary Tales features a rare appearance from much-loved American heroine Victoria Williams who contributes her inimitable charms to the duet Bottom Dollar, while Belgian siren Charline Rose (Calexico, Giant Sand) exudes ‘that’ breathy French sensuality on closing track Until Love Comes Around Again. Becky Newman (The Hot Puppies) also provides a significant and seductive female presence on several songs including the jaw-dropping murder ballad Mary Lee. For an artist who has already been highly acclaimed for ploughing his own unflinching furrow through matters of the heart with devastating beauty, Cautionary Tales is by far Rees’ most comprehensive and cohesive collection of songs yet. As the title suggests it’s a record filled with well-lived tales of life, love and death as he traverses a gamut of emotions and human behaviour. Each of the seven deadly sins is illustrated in the beautiful 16-page booklet and addressed in song. Opening track Bucket Full Of Holes tackles gluttony and the perils of promiscuity, How Did You Sleep Last Night rages with envy, It Won’t Come Easy deals with sloth, A Cautionary Tale - dangerous blind lust, Mary Lee - anger, A Sinner’s Serenade - greed and Don’t Let Your Heart Grow Cold - defiant pride. You could call Cautionary Tales a twisted love album but that would be to miss many of the subtleties at play in this lyrical tour-de-force. For as much as Rees explores sin he also touches upon love’s redeeming virtues of faith, hope and charity with equal poignancy, and takes the listener on a revealing journey through a heart that is bruised but unbeaten, brutal yet beautiful and as world-weary as it is wilful. Sometimes contradictions make perfect sense. And if that wasn't enough, he already has another two albums in the bag. One stripped down predominatly acoustic and banjo laden country blues based collection and another fuller formed band album which reinforce Christopher Rees' growing reputation as one of Wales’ most prolific, engaging and talented artists.
http://2008.sxsw.com/music/showcases/band/62000.html

Sunday March 16, 2008 12:00am - 12:30am
18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn 500 N IH 35

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