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Hazmat Modine - Bahamut

2006 © Geckophonic Records
Produced by Wade Schuman & Scott Lehrer
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Hazmat Modine - Bahamut, CD coverart
  Wade Schuman - vocals, diatonic harmonica, resonator guitar, lute guitar, zamponia
  Randy Weinstein - diatonic harmonica, chromatic harmonica, vocals
  Josh Camp - claviola  
  Alexander Fedoriouk - cimbalom  
  Pete Smith - guitar
  Michael Gomez - guitar, lap steel guitar
  Dan Hovey - guitar
  Bob Jay - guitar
  Jon Sholle - guitar
  Henry Bogdan - Hawaiian steel guitar
  Rich Huntley - drums
  Scott Veenstra - drums
Joe Daley - tuba
David Grego - tuba
Horn Section:  
Pam Fleming - trumpet
Steve Elson - baritone saxophone
  Scott Robinson - contrabass saxophone, bass marimba, bass saxophone
Kaigal-ool Khovalyg - vocals, throat singing, igil (Tuvan fiddle)
  Sayan Bapa - vocals, throat singing, doshpuluur (Tuvan banjo)
  Alexei Saryglar - vocals, throat singing, tungar (Tuvan Shaman drum), clay drum, percussion, xapchyk (bull scrotum, sheep knee bones)
  Andrei Mongush - vocals, throat singing, igil
  Anatoli Kuular - vocals, throat singing

Produced by Wade Schuman & Scott Lehrer

Mixed by Scott Lehrer, Second Story Sound

Mastered by Scott Hull, Scott Hull Mastering

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- Hazmat Modine

Bahamut (Geckophonic)

Wade Schuman's Hazmat Modine

Not everyone can sing, we don't all dance, and some folks don't even love. But if one thing unites humanity, it's that we all screw up from time to time—and that's what makes the blues our universal language. Taj Mahal, Tom Waits and Ali Farka Toure have all traced the ley lines that conjoin the Mississippi Delta to points beyond in mutual mopery. Hazmat Modine leader Wade Schuman is a fellow traveler, one who's cashed in an unusually high number of frequent-flier miles pursuing his mojo.

A dizzying harmonica player (check out his solo feature, "Lost Fox Train") and soulful guitarist, Schuman steers a combo whose members have punched the clock in jazz, Latin, klezmer and Hawaiian-swing groups. No doubt that's why Hazmat Modine sounds so comfortable crunching styles ranging from ska to Balkan brass raves and beyond, not to mention jamming with Tuvan overtone singers Huun-Huur-Tu on three tracks. Bahamut is thick with ear-tickling arrangements, such as the two harmonicas, two tubas, bass saxophone, Hawaiian steel guitar and cimbalom of "Who Walks in When I Walk Out?"
Schuman's winningly gruff vocals are well suited to a bluesman's typically put-upon malaise. He also has a knack for turning a poetic phrase, as in "Dry Spell" ("You say that you're so thirsty / You'd even drink my tears"). The disc is liberally soaked in whimsy, nowhere more so than on the title track: Even gargantuan fish gods of ancient lore get the blues, it seems.—Steve Smith

Time Out New York / Issue 541: February 9–15, 2006


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