The Austin Chronicle

Texas Platters

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, February 15, 2013, Music

Terry Allen

Bottom of the World

His first album in 14 years, Bottom of the World picks up right where Terry Allen left off. He's been busy with multimedia installations, but each side of his Panhandle-fed artistry, be it visual, musical, or theatrical, feeds another. Bottom of the World opens with a reimagining of the enigmatic "Four Corners," keeping alive the tradition of including a song from his 1975 debut Juarez on each following album. With no drums it's perhaps his most intimate recording to date, and there are a number of fever dreams that could only come from Allen's fecund imagination. "Do They Dream of Hell in Heaven" he asks, sonic clouds floating past. Long time Lubbock compadres Lloyd Maines and Richard Bowden add gray-light pedal steel and fiddle respectively, along with Bukka and Sally Allen, Terry's son and daughter-in-law, and Brian Standefer, all of whom bring their magical Screen Door Music shadings to play. Admittedly not for everyone, Allen's music continues to breathe rare air, both haunting and delightfully thought provoking.


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