Matthew J. Rolin :: The Dreaming Bridge
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  • Post published:07/05/2021
  • Post last modified:07/05/2021

Matthew J. Rolin has only been releasing music under his own name for a few years now, but he’s quickly established himself as one of the more skilled and imaginative guitarists on the neo-Takoma School scene. His self-titled debut and subsequent collabs with Jen Powers and Jayson Gerycz have all been uniformly killer — but they seem to have been warm-ups for The Dreaming Bridge. A double lp that never outstays its welcome, it’s packed with the expert acoustic fingerpicking you expect (sometimes recalling Glenn Jones, at others James Blackshaw), but there are plenty of surprises, too. “Hallucinations” features Rolin duetting with saxophonist Patrick Shiroishi, the players circling one another in beautifully meditative fashion (we may need a whole album’s worth of this kind of thing). Powers shows up on “When I Could See,” a luminous double dulcimer drone that feels both ancient and futuristic all at once. Best of all is the sidelong title track which closes the album out. On this one, Rolin plugs in and plays electric, adding sweet tremolo accents and bursts of glorious fuzz that Kevin Shields would likely admire. This isn’t the kind of music you’d think would be improved by cranking the volume—but it’s well-nigh irresistible here, as Rolin ascends ever higher. | t wilcox

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