This Forest and the Sea
"Excellent 1976 private press acoustic album, self-recorded at various places in Colorado, and filled with beautiful fingerstyle acoustic guitar, plus some atonal bottleneck slide, string scrapes and drones (at times, very Ry Cooder/Paris, Texas about six years before that soundtrack existed). Although almost completely instrumental, what lyrics there are tend towards the dark and the satiric. The obvious points of comparison are John Fahey and Leo Kottke, although Scott Key certainly has his own presence and style, differences in tone and color and attack, which he attributes to his background in rock bands. Overall, there is a brooding, loner folk/psych feel, most evident on the phenomenal, effects-heavy, almost 11-minute long title track, 'This Forest and the Sea.' 'I was coming to terms with what it mean to exist... and saw the world in pure black and white -- there was no room for grey,' Key said. 'I saw an American culture devoid of any understanding of its place in the universe, how we learn nothing save what we see on television, how our existence is tainted by intellectual laziness, and how our gift of life is defiled by the taking of it.' This deluxe tip-on mini-LP jacket edition of This Forest and the Sea includes five bonus tracks from Key's second private press album (Unlock Your Feelin's); the twenty-page booklet sports engaging, funny, and insightful notes by Key, photos, plus the text to poem that inspired the title track; as a nod to the forest, the booklet is printed on FSC recycled, chlorine-free, 100% post-consumer fiber paper manufactured using biogas energy. A very rare album that seems to have flown under almost everyone's radar -- although thankfully not Doug McGowan's (Yoga Records), who sent this our way. One record collector said to us, and we now say to you: 'Have a listen because this rates up there with classics by Bob Desper, Perry Leopold, Robbie Basho, and Phil Yost, with dark moods similar to John Fahey and Nick Drake.'"