The mountains out there are beautiful, sure, but look a little closer. There are stories running in those creekbeds, songs buried in the hollows. Some are scary, some are funny, some will bring tears to your eyes without you even knowing why. That’s the risk you take going to the mountains: you might find something there.
There’s a guitar in the woods, but it isn’t tuned like any guitar you’ve heard lately. Around it are words, mostly. But also more guitars, and drums, and pedal steels, and even a few steel pans. A wash of color, a sweep of wily chord structures. And the faces of a few friends. Here is Ben Hjertmann’s latest edition of Kong Must Dead, a core trio instrumentation with a rotating cast of personnel surrounding. They are increasingly seen onstage in Asheville, North Carolina and thereabouts, sometimes in masks.
This is the fourth Kong Must Dead release, and each one has taken two steps forward and at least two steps out: more stylistic breadth, more ambition of songwriting, more virtuosity of composition. There are only six songs here, but don’t be fooled: they cover a lot of ground, and they interconnect in deep and surprising ways. Here are Ben’s latest songs. Come have a listen. You might find something there.