Paisley headbands have supplanted trucker caps as hipster headgear, but it’s tough believing all these new folkies hit puberty digging ISB, Jansch, and Vashti Bunyan. (If Harry Smith were alive, I’d pay him to do alchemical background checks.) At least judging from a quick Google search, one of the more legit sounding players, Nick Castro, has nothing to hide. L.A.’s acid troubadour played in improvisational Children of Gauhd, and he runs the imprint/distribution service Records of Gauhd. Before that he rocked to Arthur Lee and the Kinks. Nowadays, his mournful psych structures are less peculiar than Newsom and occasionally include a stilted mannerism absent from the hairy-fairy Manson/Donovan posse. Still, the stuff’s gorgeous, and he allows freewheeling variations to leak into moon-altar paeans via a flügelhorn-toting backup crew, the Poison Tree: Josephine Foster’s a flanged banshee; Espers jam cello and dulcimer into multiple crannies. Actually, Castro himself handles an armload, and his “Music For Mijwiz,” a raging Middle Eastern street jamboree, suggests a corner of the enchanted glen where dude should set up camp more regularly.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 25, 2005