Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Brisbane-based banjoist Andrew Tuttle hits atmospheric new heights on Fleeting Adventure

"Fleeting Adventure"

Release date: 05 August 2022
Tuttle cover
25 July 2022, 08:36 Written by Janne Oinonen
Banjo. Mention of this five letter word is most likely to induce unflattering images of Deliverance-type backwoods hoedowns or hordes of beige-hued blandness merchants attempting to instill a drop of authenticity to their faux Americana. Andrew Tuttle is on course for correcting this image problem on Fleeting Adventure.

The Australian musician’s fifth album (first for Todmorden’s reliably excellent Basin Rock label) was inspired by the first tentative trips away from the house taken after covid lockdowns eased. Fittingly, an unhurried, often deeply hypnotic sense of drifting, or floating just above the ground, permeates the album’s seven languid instrumental tracks. The contemplative, somewhat sun-dazed feel is in line with Tuttle’s previous solo album, 2020’s Alexandra, but the palette is wider and richer this time around due to prominent contributions of guests from different parts of the world. Even as electronics, strings and horns enter the frame alongside the ever-present banjo and different types of guitars, the music retains its spacious, uncluttered freshness.

The opener “Overnight’s A Weekend” provides a potent example of the ensuing alchemy. Tuttle’s banjo (which is unfailingly in the spotlight throughout Fleeting Adventure; Tuttle also plays acoustic guitar) establishes an earthy melody and rhythm, before Steve Gunn’s rippling electric guitar enters the frame, adding a haunting edge and a subtle buzz of electricity to the proceedings. Enriched by Chuck Johnson’s pedal steel, the slow-burn sigh of “Correlation” is even more impressive with its musical equivalent of a particularly dazzling sunset.

Throughout Fleeting Adventure, the seamless interplay between Tuttle and the guests suggest the musicians must have been in eye-to-eye proximity, whereas the contributors weren’t necessarily situated even in the same hemisphere. Yet Fleeting Adventure doesn’t rely on guest musicians to impress: closer “There’s Always a Crow” finds Tuttle alone on the banjo, with equally compelling results. The only possible complaint about this fine album is its polite orderliness: if musical communication carried out remotely works this well, imagine what Tuttle and co. could achieve if letting rip in the same room, without a pre-agreed road map?

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