This is, sans doute, mindful and at times intensely mordant (tho enjoyable), unapologetic West Coast minstrelsy from once and future Camper Van Beethoven compatriot Victor Krummenacher and his supremely confident and engaging female vocal counterpart, Alison Faith Levy. In its best moments, Time for Leaving captures the romance of travel and high desert illicit canoodlings in cheapish motel rooms, as well as burnished audio snapshots that could have been taken in 1949 or now, vignettes put down on the page by Jim Thompson or Barry Gifford. You get grooves that would not disgrace the last few Dylan albums (“Fare Thee Well”:), lovetorn regrets made lyrical (“Red Wine and Chocolate”), even a swinging klezmer-clarinet-daubed bit (“Playground”, featuring the always reliable Ralph Carney on the licorice tip).
As the closing title cut suggests, once the carousing and hangover exact their demands, best to move on. On a cheerier note, one hopes the experience captured within this CD’s shiny husk—which also incorporates the sharp talents of fellow CVB artisans Jonathan Segel and Greg Lisher, and genius pedal steel don Bruce Kaphan (who produced), among others—works its estimable, sensual brand of cattywhompus among fans of nonsense-free Americana. The listener will be, if not hungry, certainly affected and desire further immersion. Hey, worked for me.
// Notes from the Road
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