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File under: BluesExperimental

Wes Tirey

No Winners in the Blues (LP)

Label: Full Spectrum Records

Format: LP

Genre: Folk

In process of stocking

A new year beckons, and Full Spectrum Records is fixing to kick off 2023 with a hard shot of melancholia and a deluxe vinyl reissue of Wes Tirey’s whiskey-soaked folk opus, ‘No Winners In the blues.’
*300 copies limited edition* "Of course, this isn’t Tirey’s first Full Spectrum rodeo. He published the decidedly more lo-fi ‘O, Annihilator’ with us in 2014 – a release that we still reach for when the sun hangs low – before moving on to record ‘Black Wind’ for Scissor Tail a couple of years later. ‘No Winners In the Blues’ collects a series of lowdown stories that began life around that same time period, though expands the tonal palette into a psychedelia-tinged zone, thanks to Shane Parish’s guitar and production flourishes. Originally released way back in the halcyon days of 2019 as a small cassette edition with accompanying lyric chapbook via M. Sage’s now-defunct Patient Sounds Intl. imprint, ‘No Winners in the Blues’ is indeed an overtly bleak album – as the title might suggest – and an ideal addition to one’s winter soundtrack. It would perhaps have ended up differently if the musicians Tirey initially planned to guest on these tracks were available; but when scheduling conflicts began to pile up, Tirey pivoted towards the sort of work he’d been doing with Parish during their semi-improvised performances on tour between 2016-18.

The end result is a suite of billowing ballads that are resplendent in their gloom, reflecting deeply on loss, hardship, vice, and the grinding march of time. Tirey’s baritone voice is front and center in the mix, with his dusty guitar playing laying down raggedy lines for Parish’s Frippertronics-esque playing to flicker across.

This is honest music for those moments when the night towers over the desert, as the dawn gathers faintly at the horizon: raw blues from the hands of a true master of his craft, now given fresh life with a new edition. 

File under: BluesExperimental
Cat. number: FS128
Year: 2023