[sic] Magazine

Naïm Amor & John Convertino – The Western Suite And Siesta Songs

When Thomas Jefferson authorised the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 it changed the course of history. It effectively marked the end of the French’s serious interest in what would become the United States and opened up the entire Midwest for Yankee pioneersmen. What might trad American folk sound like if the purchase hadn’t gone ahead? It’s a question you might never had pondered, but it’s one French film-score composer Naïm Amor and Giant Sand and Calexico percussionist John Convertino strive to answer with The Western Suite And Siesta Songs.

Simultaneously an instrumental country classic that conjures dusty desperadoes and an accordion-led excursion through the influences of Yann Tiersen, it’s a widescreen Western soundtrack in which gently lilting Americana gives way to stately waltzes and sexy tangos as imagined by the mind of Beirut via, inevitably, Ennio Morricone. Sleepy acoustics are thus bolstered by the plinky-plonk ivories of vintage barroom piano as well as by atmospheric lap steel.

The Western Suite And Siesta Songs all seems like it comes from another era, one perhaps that never existed, so it’s only appropriate that Convertino originally recorded direct to outmoded four-track, his analogue recordings then mailed across the mighty expanse of the Atlantic to Amor for additional arrangements and electrified guitar parts. It’s Amor that consequently brings Convertino’s evocative flutters of rim-shots and fast-paced percussive trots to life, haunting whistling sequences echoing around windblown monuments bleached by an unforgiving sun, some tortured soul staring straight on to the horizon.

Best track: “Tucson, Paris”

~The Western Suite And Siesta Songs is released 4th November 2016 via L.M. Dupli-Cation.~