Everywhen We Go

Mike Baggetta / Jim Keltner / Mike Watt

Big Ego Records, 2022

http://mikebaggetta.com

REVIEW BY: John Mulhouse

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 11/18/2022

Everywhen We Go is the second offering from the instrumental trio doing business as Mike Baggetta / Jim Keltner / Mike Watt. Their first release was 2019’s Wall Of Flowers, and this album, mostly recorded in a single day, follows in a similar vein of patient, almost pastoral songs that leave plenty of room for the music to breath and these extremely capable musicians to play with one another.

Speaking of the musicians, their names alone should pique one’s interest. Jim Keltner is a veteran session drummer who played with the Traveling Wilburys (as Buster Sidebury) and backed up three of The Beatles (separately, that is). His percussion on this album is deft and often deceptively unadorned. Mike Watt of Minutemen, fIREHOSE, Stooges, et al is the reason this ensemble first came across my radar. I consider him one of the finest bass players to ever pick up the instrument, and here the low end is warm and sympathetic. Mike Baggetta comes from more of a jazz background and there are numerous such flourishes, including some dissonance that used to be referred to in the underground as “skronk.”    my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

 

As with Wall Of Flowers, there is plenty to enjoy here, and right off the bat with the title cut is a gem. Probably my favorite song on the album, it’s an understated, noir-ish tune with a surf-y undertow. Much of Watt’s own music references the sea and his San Pedro, California, home base, either implicitly or explicitly. In fact, there is an ocean-going feel throughout. The next two songs, “This Is Not a Euphemism” and “In The Center,” continue the gentle, rolling atmosphere, and I like it quite a bit. Then “Yank It Out” goes for a bit of the aforementioned skronk, with Baggetta showcasing some angular, occasionally piercing playing that is admittedly not as much up my alley, but if you’re a guitar player with an interest in the avant you’ll find plenty to dissect.

 

The middle of the record largely continues with variations on these themes, allowing lots of space and shimmer to shine through. There are long minutes of jazzy picking and cymbal play with the bass bubbling up from below. I find it very relaxing, as on the final track, the strolling “Measure Of A Life.” The digital release ends with a “slight return” of the title song, but sounds very little like it and is actually longer. Either way we thusly drift back out to sea.

 

The majority of songs were penned by Baggetta, and I’m not sure if he is the “leader” of this group or if it’s an equal three-way split. But it should be mentioned that Watt also plays in Baggetta’s group mssv (short for Main Steam Stop Valve), which is similar but different in that they employ more of a punk edge, with Watt bringing some of his Stooges background and drummer Stephen Hodges frequently playing not entirely unlike the Minutemen’s George Hurley. There are also vocals and some choice covers, including the Stooges, are played live. They likewise come highly recommended. So find a safe harbor and drop anchor. There’s plenty to explore!

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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