The world was bleeding. Profusely. And it looked as though this well-meaning country was about to dodge a hollow-point bullet aimed for our collective soul. Then we didn’t. Shellshocked, we stumbled about the debris of a shattered psyche, wandering through the stunned silence like the unblinking walking dead. With the realization that the darkness was looming over us like the immense, growing shadow of a fork-tongued flying demon, we retreated. And in the case of Fernando Viciconte and his long-time musical cohort Luther Russell, entered Luther’s four-track shack, dubbed the “Mirage Garage”, to see what could come from the ashes of nothing. Co-written and recorded in the space of a week, Traitors Table is their massive missive, a record aimed at a very wary world tired of the division, hate and cynical snipping at the golden circuitry that once made us hope for the future. Luther and Fernando tried to turn their despondence into a daydream, coming up with a feeling of understanding for the right, the left and the left-outside-in-the-rain. In the extremely personal “I Don’t Know”, Fernando wails about coming to the U.S. as an immigrant child and how—after growing up identifying as a proud American—he felt the acute, nauseating fear of being sent back to a country he never really knew. This is the trauma the DACA kids face, and we all face with them. “Hey Darlene” tells the story of a small-town couple from a one-and-a-half-horse town who feel shut out of the American dream, but like many among us, also feel it’s just within reach. So they vote against their own self-interest for those worm-tongued, two-faced chameleons who say what they so desperately want to hear. “The Company”, a bouncy, impassioned plea to the so-called “millenial” generation to not shoot down bold ideas in the name of political-correctness, is in Viciconte’s words: “about the concept that even though we are more connected via technology, we are more isolated and divided than ever.” In the final track on the record, “Turned Away”, a stark acoustic guitar announces the beat-up story of a soul that was judged before he was born, a man whose very spirit was shot—execution-style— simply because of how and where he was born. Perpetually shunned, he finally snaps, the whirlwind of pain swirling with slashing, thrashing guitars, snarling and howling in writhing agony. As the final note of feedback dies, everyone dies, and what’s broken remains broken, repair seeming ever out of reach. Traitors Table tells a multi-faceted tale of an unspeakable, palpable shadow that rests laden across our souls and heavy on our hearts. Luther and Fernando began their musical collaboration twenty years ago with a reminiscence of days gone by called Pacoima. They now file this new chapter as an angry warning about an wobbbly, uncertain future. Pre-Order and preview single “I Don’t Know” at Fluff & Gravy Records.
Portland, Oregon Troubadour originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina