Joseph Allred - The True Light
Joseph Allred is a Tennessee-born multi-instrumentalist, now residing in Massachusetts, who has received critical acclaim for his seemingly endless slew of wonderful records, most of which showcase his talent for all things stringed. Originally released as a private-pressing, Worried Songs has made this masterwork, The True Light, available to a wider audience for the first time.
The True Light, taking its name from the Gospel of John, a haunting lament for solo-harp guitar. Recorded shortly after receiving the instrument, the album documents his exploration of the harp guitar. The five songs found on The True Light bleed like a river, flowing from one to the next in waves of immense beauty, melancholia and yearning, reflecting on spirituality and belonging in its many forms.
“Each time I've seen Joseph Allred play a concert, I've choked up. Whether working in improvisation or composition, for harmonium, stringed instruments or voice, their music reveals a deep knowledge of diverse musical idioms secular and religious, with the sort of quiet force that comes from the acquisition of this knowledge, and their performances are striking and brave, simultaneously unadorned and rich as to suggest collaborations with realms beyond our own. The True Light retains these qualities: like Basho or Rose, it's uncompromising; like sacred musics, stately; like the music of so many American masters, it plows ahead on its terms and gives and gives” - Eli Winter
“…fierce, raw and deeply moving” - Pop Matters
“Multi-instrumentalist Joseph Allred had a startling answer for an interviewer who recently asked him, “Who are you?” “A sick man, a spiteful man, an unattractive man,” Allred said, adding, “I believe my liver is diseased.” In a press photo depicting him in a dark, funereal suit and holding his guitar with a somewhat accusatory look, he looks like a cross between Teddy Roosevelt and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, benign yet severe and unpredictable. That contrast is not quite so apparent in his music, but, standing on the shoulders of American folk music traditions, he generates a tension not far removed from the melodramas of the German new wave director. Folk music, not for the coffee shop singalong, but for a lonesome trek through a wilderness increasingly invaded by a brutal modern world” - Spectrum Culture
The True Light
Who Will Heal Your Wounds
Generations Will Spring
A Wreath for the Head