Red House Painters was essentially Mark Kozelek
and whoever played with him. The album Songs for a Blue Guitar
is my personal favorite from RHP, and one of my top 5 favorites that I own of any band or artist. If you like poetry through music
, if you like passionate, peaceful demonstration
, if you like the heartbreakingly lush songs of Jeff Buckley
(that perfect blend of peace and tumult) or maybe Cowboy Junkies
or older R.E.M.
, or Dolorean
, I bet you'll really dig Red House Painters.
Mark Kozelek's sweet low rumbling voice and the soft blends and lurching leaps of his guitar makes me want to wear my best old sweater and walk around in the fall sunshine and just breathe in deeply. They're the kind of band you'd buy the CD for just from reading the lyrics, because you know that words that right could have pots and pans in the background and you'd still be grateful to hear it.
I saw Mark Kozelek play in Atlanta, GA in 1998. He was obviously jetlagged or high or something, and talked for about half the time. Then, randomly, he broke out into an eight-minute rendition of REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore," and I swear it was great - gentle, poetic, vulnerable, and I believed every note.
Red House Painters (and Mark Kozelek's newer project Sun Kil Moon) are one of the first bands I recommend to anyone I connect with, so, you there, reading me, go find them. You will be so happy you did.