Essential New Music: C Joynes And The Furlong Bray’s “The Borametz Tree”

Past outings prove that C Joynes is a well-traveled guy. The guitarist’s previous recordings have reflected this. His picking is as likely to reference Malian desert-blues licks or Jamaican-dub recording techniques as it is English and American folk themes. But circling around the globe with a guitar as your traveling companion can also be a mite lonely, and Joynes’ latest album suggests that for the moment, he’d rather pursue his musical adventures in good company.

The Furlong Bray is a handy title for what’s really a crew of like-minded friends, including fellow pickers Cam Deas and Nick Jonah Davis, plus unidentified members of the Dead Rat Orchestra. Together they sound like the band that Tom Waits would feel lucky to find if he ended up in the British countryside. They’ve got the versatility to go from late-night Gamelan sonorities to rickety tango to ecstatic quasi-raga, traversing cultures and genres as easily as a jumbo jet crosses the ocean, but without the carbon footprint. Put The Borametz Tree on the platter, flip open your atlas to a random page, and start dreaming.

—Bill Meyer