John Fusco – Borderlands, The press release uses phrases like “cinematic storytelling” and “hard-bitten grit” with “vivid imagery and an overarching narrative.” John Fusco says it’s “a kind of peyote passion play.” It’s all that and more.
A working screenwriter of such films as “Thunderheart,” “Hidalgo,” “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron” “Young Guns,” “Young Guns II” and the new “Guns III: Alias Billy The Kid,” Fusco the songwriter has found a natural trail to follow in the Western Saga Song. He knows how to tell a story. But with him he brings such acoustic and electrified elements as Spanish guitar with plugged-in fuzz guitar, marimba with Hammond organ, conga and bongo with rock drum. The success of it all is due in large part to the massive arranging talents of producer and performer George Walker Petit who brings some Dr. John thinking to Fusco’s tales. “Coyote Man” (a deserved attack on a recent deadly human trafficking tragedy), “Dance of the Seven Veils” (a border saloon retelling of the Salome & John the Baptist story), “Horseback Jesus” (the Spanish and alliterative “hey-soos” it’s the New Testament ahorse), “Run Rez Dog Run” (an indigenous charlatan gets his) and “Cowboy Picture” (both mental and celluloid) are examples, and Fusco’s gritty delivery brings a certain appropriate Bob Seger exclamation point to the proceedings. It’s also fitting to have used a Tom Russell painting for the CD cover as conceptually Fusco’s collection could easily have been drawn from that artist’s musical playbook as well.
Ten tracks, highly recommended for the adventurous.
CD: (available through most of the popular online outlets)
– by Rick Huff
John Fusco – Borderlands