I covered the limited edition release of Lewis & Clarke’s Live on WPRB record last fall with much anticipation for what Lou Rogai and company were leading up to on Blasts of Holy Birth. From the invisible segue between opener “Secret of the Golden Flower” and the title track onward, I couldn’t be more satisfied. In spite of the gorgeous psychedelic cover art, Lewis & Clarke’s music isn’t particularly lysergic or hippie-oriented. Instead, the compositions are thoughtfully and carefully arranged folk mini-symphonies. The melodies are exquisite, as delivered by an impressive array of strings, percussion, and Rogai’s own direct, unforced vocals. “Black Doves” is a standout for incorporating Eastern instrumentation and ambience in ways that neither ape nor degrade their influences. The closer, “Be the Air We Breathe” also moves the paint on its palette into unexpected collisions, in ways that re-imagine the possibilities of what mellow and smart music can do. This is a band that more than deserves its growing acclaim.
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