Rick Deitrick - Coyote Canyon

TOMPKINS SQUARE

  • £21.99


Coyote Canyon is a collection of unreleased music by guitarist Rick Deitrick, mostly recorded between 1972 and 1975. 

Ohio-born Rick Deitrick took up the guitar at age sixteen and decided to approach his playing as if he was the only guy on an island and the instrument had just washed ashore one day. According to Rick, "I completely divorced my playing from any formal music knowledge, but it was very important to me to use original tuning. During those years, the sixties/seventies, there was a lot of acoustic guitar playing, often using open tuning as a base. I wanted to create whole tones without de-tuning and keep access to the complex sounds stock tuning provided." 

A self-released album, Gentle Wilderness came out in 1978, but Deitrick remained largely unknown until a compilation of previously released recordings, River Sun River Moon, was released by Tompkins Square in 2017. The release of Coyote Canyon in 2021 brings to light even more beautiful acoustic semi-improvised compositions that have remained unheard for far too long. 

Deitrick sought inspiration in nature, and in particular the various rivers scattered around the Western United States, often composing songs seated beside them - and even occasionally perched on boulders in them. He never played the songs the same way twice and did two passes on each composition in studio. Rick would sometimes literally come straight out of the mountains and rush to the studio to record the ideas he'd gathered. 

"'Coyote Canyon' is a wilderness area behind my daughter's house where coyotes gather and howl before taking off for their nightly foraging. 'Little Tujunga' (pronounced "Tuhunga") is a river running through the Angeles Forest near a house I lived in five decades ago. Half my ideas for this piece came from onshore guitar ruminating. The rest was improvised in studio. 

"'Emma' was my close and sweet companion during this period, a lifelong deep friend. I composed her song one evening at the kitchen table of our place while she was cooking. 'Tumbleweedin'' describes a desert tumbleweed storm. I menaced every inch of the Yamaha, recreating the effect of these windblown monsters screeching along boulders, smacking into cactus and anything else in their way at often impossible speeds, following the whims of the heavy winds. This song was completely improvised at the moment in studio and forgotten. 'Roy's Rain' is a tribute to my great good friend and musician killed in a car accident in 1973. I found 'For Marsha Version 2' on a well-worn studio tape. It's a variant of the same composition on the Gentle Wilderness album. I like this loose and flowy version. 'Movin' On' has one thing on its mind - getting away fast and now. 'Going Home' is my improvised take on an American root song. 

"The above seven were recorded between 1972-1975. 'Three Sisters' was recorded on a 20-minute studio break in 1999 describing three barren red hills somewhere in the Arizona desert, a cherished location." 

 

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