Neon Mirage

Neon Mirage

by Stan RidgwayStan Ridgway


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Even though he'll always be best known as the original frontman for Wall of Voodoo who brought a skewed, spaghetti western sensibility to new wave in the early '80s, Stan Ridgway has been a solo singer/songwriter for a lot longer than his WoV tenure, having released his first solo album in 1986. There's always been a sort of Raymond Chandler/film noir feeling to Ridgway's narratives, and that remains true on Neon Mirage. Over the years, there's also been a gradual stylistic shift in Ridgway's work, with a greater incorporation of rootsy, often-acoustic flavors: folk, country, and blues templates have become an increasingly prevalent part of Ridgway's musical makeup, and those quirky-but-earthy tendencies are present on Neon Mirage, as well. "This Town Called Fate," for example, comes off like the theme to the film that Sergio Leone forgot to make, mixing a modified Johnny Cash boom-chicka-boom beat with an Ennio Morricone mood that harks back so some of Wall of Voodoo's work. Folkie ballad "Halfway There" runs on a blend of acoustic guitar and sawing fiddle, while the country shuffle "Wandering Star" is peppered with steel guitar swoops, and the title track is an instrumental that seems to be cut from the same imaginary Morricone-soundtrack cloth as "This Town Called Fate." Of course, other elements come into play over the course of the album, from the bossa nova groove of "Desert of Dreams" to the dusty desert reggae of "Flag Up on a Pole," but the only misstep on Neon Mirage is a mysteriously motivated cover of Bob Dylan's "Lenny Bruce," one of the master songwriter's least impressive works. Still, when a Dylan tune is the worst track on your album, you must be doing all right.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/19/2010
Label: A440
UPC: 0724101225727
catalogNumber: 2

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Stan Ridgway   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Electric Guitar,Vocals,electronics
Dave Alvin   Guitar
Ralph Carney   Flute,Horn,Saxophone,Woodwind
Don Heffington   Percussion
Brett Simons   Acoustic Bass
Bruce Zelesnik   Percussion
Joe Berardi   Percussion
Pietra Wexstun   Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Vocals,Melodica,electronics
Amy Farris   Mandolin,Violin,Cello,Viola,Vocals
Rick King   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Bass,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar

Technical Credits

Dave Alvin   Producer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Stan Ridgway   Composer,Producer,Engineer
Cary Baker   Publicity
Jim Rasfeld   Layout
Nancy Sefton   Management,Licensing
Pietra Wexstun   Engineer
Craig Parker Adams   Engineer
Rick King   Engineer
Jeff Cavanaugh   Cover Painting
David Strunk   Booking

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