Trickster Blues (Cosmic Dreamer)
Reviewed by Rachel Rascoe, Fri., May 25, 2018
In a quick turnaround from last year's Jaguar Palace, country deconstructionist Shane Renfro zooms in on the expansive soundscapes of his desert-weathered debut, swapping extended ballads for strident, meditative messages. Demoed over four days in Marfa and captured in two in Lockhart, the sophomore full-length channels a brisk, unbridled commitment to Renfro's sonic journey, fusing the Texan's Western, psych-hued foundations with dreamy blues and Seventies soul. Slick intro "Tooth Ache" induces the work's weighted trance, layering bendy guitar swells over light, persistent percussion. Yearning "Cold Spell" and luxurious, theological-alluding "Black Madonna, So Divine" nudge at a sweeping romanticism, ruminating on the interplay of intimacy and introspection. Simplistic "Silver Woman" ends on a sweet note, finalizing a distillation of RF Shannon's unique knack for mellow music spiked with trepidation.