Wanderlust, the new recording from New Orleans guitarist/composer Cliff Hines, is a rich tapestry of ideas, inspirations and sounds patched together from various times and places in the world. It is a sonic journey, an electro-acoustic blend traveling from one culture to the next. In making this record, Hines and co-producer/engineer Ian Painter gathered together some of New Orleans's finest musicians, including local legends James Singleton, Bill Summers, Kent Jordan, Dave Easley and Helen Gillet, coupled with some of the best musicians of the new generation, including Khris Royal, Ashlin Parker, Mike Watson, Rex Gregory, Sam Craft and Jack Craft. Hines' core band features vocalist Sasha Masakowski, drummer Paul Thibodeaux, bassist Jasen Weaver, and pianist Andrew McGowan. While all of these musicians are well versed in jazz, rock, funk and many other genres, the music they created together on Wanderlust defies convention and categorization.
Wanderlust is a CD that could have only been conceived and realized in New Orleans. The big easy's legacy as a port city meant that it was constantly importing new sounds from all over the globe. Many of these sounds are represented on the album, including Afro-Caribbean, Brazilian, African, Spanish, European classical, Middle Eastern, Indian, American swing (both of the southern and northern varieties), hip-hop, rock, and electronic/experimental. Musicians in New Orleans have grown up and studied in this tradition, and as such, they are some of the most creative and versatile players in the world. There is also a strong sense of camaraderie between New Orleans musicians that is unlike any other music scene. All of the musicians know each other and regularly play with each other, regardless of what style of music or background they come from. This leads to very interesting and surprising combinations of players (as we find on Wanderlust). Yet with all of its innovative and creative energy, New Orleans is very much rooted in tradition. As such, Wanderlust features giants of the old guard of New Orleans music in addition to the young lions of the new generation.
"Wanderlust is also a recording about the world in 2012. A world shrinking day by day. Culture has been digitized; the farthest reaches of the world are at your very fingertips - from the street beat of a brass band in New Orleans ("Aetherea") to the hypnotic dances of Africa ("Wanderlust"). One can find folktales of old anthropomorphizing the heavenly bodies ("Lonely Moon") or traverse the seedy underbellies of the world ("Interzone"). And yet, with such a rich history, this present moment in time is perhaps the most fascinating of all. It is a time of merciless war ("Dresden"), bloody revolutions ("Tehran"), and nuclear crisis ("Clouds"). We may turn our heads to the heavens for answers ("The Path of Arhuna"), but the only way forward is to work together as Brothers." - Cliff Hines on Wanderlust.