Sonically spaced out, slightly askew, blissfully beckoning the listener to something deeper, Gingerwolf’s music is self-proclaimed to be “Hawaiian space-jazz from outer space,” and it’s absolutely delightful. With “In Pizza We Crust,” Gingerwolf (a.k.a. Thom Beall) offers a tongue-in-cheek reference to his family's business, in addition to eight fine tunes that stretch the imagination, capture sincerity - and defy labels, all in less than 30 minutes.
“I Still See You,” leads the space expedition with a blend of quick fire drums paired with Wolf’s lap steel soaked in echo filled distortion and reverb. You immediately know that you are hearing something special, and you’re swept away as a fellow space traveler. “Lullaby,” follows and it’s exactly that: a soft & sweet acoustic melody with a beautiful cello accompaniment. Marching drum rolls bounce along with soft bristles and Leo Kottke-esque guitar brush strokes. One moment, Thom is flexing the classic twangy lap steel, then suddenly a super space synth breeze takes you off into the stratosphere. The song also features some fine Celtic elements revealing the true diversity of this artist. “Red Bracelets,” keeps with the gentle far away wide-reaching fluid guitar compositional alchemy.
Each finely placed note played is like a delicate positive vibration washing over you. “Bracelets,” adds a horn to go with the cello and some very trippy moments that still don't pull you out of the dance hall bliss the song creates. It sounds like the lead precession music for a high-class ball in outer space: a combination of the proud past and the adventurous and unknown future. “Broken Records Lose Their Meaning,” also isn't afraid to be literal. The opening acoustic chords are repetitious & uneven (like a broken record) but soon give way to structure. The song is a balance of haunting and hopeful, it will give you pause not only to contemplate life but to also wonder where the song will venture to next. It's truly beautiful when a song title and the music to accompany it go so well together.
“Chili, Sweet Monarch,” is extremely meditative, a quality combination of eastern and western influence. It’s celebratory at times, reflective at others and completely monumental throughout. “Chipper Jones,” lightens the mood a bit and gets to some fine picking & intricate guitar play, bringing back in some Kottke with a dab of Keller Williams. “Trilingual,” gets introspective again and calls to mind nature like so much of this album. Nature, happiness and beauty: things that can be easy to come by yet still hard to find.
“In Pizza We Crust,” is yin/yang, darkness/light, pineapple and pizza...guitar chords drift away and inspire you as they take flight. The music feels classically composed in so many ways, it makes you think of intricately structured music like Kronos Quartet. But in such a contrast, Thom, the skilled and adventurous artist, doesn't take himself too seriously. He has even been known to throw a pick-up on a bowling ball and play it, just because.
“Showers Over Seattle,” triumphantly and trippy, conjures thoughts of rain drops coming down simply through well played guitar riffs and far out effects. A triple guitar loop slowly builds into the sky bursting open with sunlight or perhaps more rain, whatever you see coming your way, your imagination is captured and it feels great.
There's nothing predictable about the music, it moves in and out as it pleases and leaves you with funky psychedelic space effects. There's a reason why Gingerwolf is one of the first session musicians that people call, and why his name keeps popping up all over the place (especially on Jimi Haha Davies' long awaited and upcoming album). Thom is setting his own standards, at his own pace and, just like in the pizza we crust, you know that whatever Gingerwolf brings to the table - it's going to be bountiful, imaginative, timeless and classic.
Thomas Beall – Weissenborn, Acoustic, Electric, and Steel Guitars, Bass, Drums, Percussion, Laser gun
Erin Snedecor – Cello (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
Rory Brennan – Drums (1, 3)
Aaron Lahey – Bass (1, 3)
Marcus Turner – Drums (3)
Mark Mossey – Trumpet (3, 5)
Adam Narimatsu – Keys (3, 5)
Justin Cary – Double bass (6)
“In Pizza We Crust” was produced by Thom Beall and Collin Dunn at Hudson St. Sound in Annapolis, MD
*Drums on "Showers Over Seattle", drums and lap steel on "Red Bracelets" recorded by Ahren Buchheister at Mt. Vesuvius Studios in Arnold, MD
*"Broken Records Lose Their Meanings" recorded by Thomas Beall at Electromaxx Studios in Arnold, MD
Mixed by Steve Wright at Wrightway Studios in Baltimore, MD, and mastered by TW Walsh in Boston, MA.