Tabs Out | Bill Orcutt – Warszawa

Bill Orcutt – Warszawa

10.1.20 by Ryan Masteller

Bill Orcutt played about forty minutes away from my house not that long ago (pre-COVID), but I missed it. Actually, I didn’t so much miss it as I just didn’t go, considering that the show was going to end just past my bedtime at like ten o’clock or so, and then I would have had to drive that forty minutes back home. So really, because it’s my own fault and all, you really shouldn’t feel too bad for me. Not that that’s what I was going for with all this, but still, there it is. 

I guess in the end this is a terrible story considering I’m spending all this time telling you what I didn’t do. I could lie and make something up, I guess, but you’d see right through it. So I’ll just have to live vicariously through this tape, then, “Warszawa” on Endless Happiness. The two sides contain two live Orcutt pieces, just the man and an electric guitar, onstage at the Avant Art Festival, Spatif, Warsaw, in 2019. And if “Warszawa” is any indication of what I missed when Orcutt passed through my neck of the woods, then I blew it big time. This is some straight up fairy magic we’re dealing with right here. 

Orcutt lays the groundwork for his playing with some lovely pastoral improvisation (think William Tyler but wilder, more windswept), then lets it rip. You know how it goes: Orcutt lulls you into thinking you’re just going to lay on your back and watch clouds wisp across a clear blue sky all day, but he intersperses these sublime moments with arpeggiated jags and surprise twists and turns, then lets you lay back down and try to do it all over again. Each side is sixteen minutes long. He does this for thirty-two full minutes! It’s heavenly, and it doesn’t last nearly long enough.

Truly one of the modern guitar masters, Orcutt has another winner here with “Warszawa” – 50 with a blue shell (sold out!), 50 with a gray shell (not sold out!). And yeah, I’ll catch him next time around (vaccine permitting!).

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