“Song For Dreaming” – Judson Claiborne

A pleasantly droopy piece of Americana-flavored indie rock, with a sharp sense of melody and nicely integrated guitar work. Not only do the acoustic and electric guitars play beautifully in and around each other—the ear even loses track, somehow, of which is which at some points–but the lead electric lines are central to the song’s development. You don’t hear a lot of that kind of instrumental integration these days–what we hear instead all too often is a lot of what might be called instrumental hipsterism, when sounds are used merely to be unusual—and it lends something deep and timeless to this casually-paced song.

Judson Claiborne is a stage name adopted by the singer/songwriter Chris Salveter, of Chicago, who previously sang and played guitar for the band Low Skies. But the name also seems, maybe, to have turned into the band’s name; half the material I find online refers to Judson Claiborne as a band, an impression aided by current press material showing five people in a photo labeled Judson Claiborne. In any case, it’s Salveter up front, singing a melody with wistful leaps that accentuate both the warmth and idiosyncrasies of his informal, slightly quivering voice. He’s got a touch of Jim James in there, a touch of Roy Orbison even, for crying out loud, but he never goes too far, always retreats into seeming more like a guy who happened to wander up to a microphone and who’s happy just to play guitar than any kind of self-styled crooner.

The pseudonym and/or band name by the way comes from combining a first name his father had wanted to name him (his mother: nope, “too redneck”) and a last name from ancestors on his father’s side of the family. “Song For Dreaming” is from Time and Temperature, slated for release next month on La Société Expéditionnaire, a Pennsylvania-based label. MP3 via La Soc. Thanks to Largehearted Boy for the lead.




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