By Bradley Bambarger | Published November 2018
On the heels of an excellent third album from his two-tenor Bigmouth band, blending rock and West African influences, bassist Chris Lightcap explores his love of electric guitar with the first release from his Superette project. The New York-based Lightcap switches from acoustic to electric bass to lead a double-guitar quartet that leans toward instrumental rock, with surf, garage and Americana overtones, plus occasional African references.
Along with Lightcap and drummer Dan Rieser, Superette features the sinewy interplay of guitarists Curtis Hasselbring and Jonathan Goldberger. Guitars and electric bass blend ideally in the intricate West African-style lines of the bandleader’s “She Walked In,” which includes a Wurlitzer solo by guest John Medeski that evokes the sounds of Ethio-jazz. The other ringer here is guitarist Nels Cline, whose unearthly solo makes Hasselbring’s “Far Away Planet” a sonic thrill. Superette underscores Lightcap’s taste in down-tempo rock with takes on two ballads: the hushed psychedelia of Skip Spence’s “All Come To Meet Her” and Neil Young’s “Birds.” The latter benefits from the Goldberger-Hasselbring six-string blend, the band imbuing the song with a new, anthemic allure.
Superette: Selector; She Walked In; Far Away Planet; While You Were Out; Djali; Calling On Cars; Ace Of Spades; Light Trails; All Come To Meet Her; Frozen Bread; Birds. (55:32)
Personnel: Chris Lightcap, electric bass; Curtis Hasselbring, electric guitar; Jonathan Goldberger, electric guitar; Dan Rieser, drums; Nels Cline, electric guitar (3, 5, 7), lap-steel guitar (8); John Medeski, Hammond B-3 (3, 6, 8), Wurlitzer (2).