Bill Barrett - chromatic harmonica
Scot Ray - 6, 12, and 22 string slide guitar, slide banjo
2007 Woetone release / 8 page foldout booklet.
"dobro, harmonica, banjo, acoustic guitars...one might be fooled into thinking you are about to hear some simple down home wailing. and although there are moments on this recording that are ‘simple’, definately moments that are ‘wailing’, and even moments that could be called ‘down home’, that’s where it ends. scot ray and bill barrett have taken their instruments far beyond any expectation. this music is astonishingly beautiful at times. at other times it has a stunning complexity. the album opens in a deceptively light and breezy manner that sparkles like dragonfly wings floating over a clear country pond. and then there’s the raga country blues which mr. ray explores so successfully. this is very satisfying sonic terrain for me. having been born in oklahoma with 30 years as a buddhist it’s a bulls-eye in several vital chakras. and bill barrett’s chromatic harp playing can veer from little walter authenticity to avant versions of some unknown american symphonic melodies. put all that together, you have something like charles ives’ mutant cousin from bangladesh living in the backwoods of an undiscovered country. gathered around a campfire somewhere these two gentlemen could lull the cobras to sleep while krishna dances an appalachian two-step till the break of dawn. as my mother has been known to say ‘lord, have mercy!’." - Liner notes by G.E. Stinson
"Bill Barrett and Scot Ray are back and what's required on your behalf is an open disposition and the will of relaxing at least every once in a while amidst all those zen scrapes and post-everything cages (pun intended). The fourth chapter of this duo's saga is largely reminiscent of their atavistic influences...Flamenco and blues, Arabian and finger picking, melancholic serenades and intense rasgueado, serene under-the-porch blowing and distorted tongue-tying chromaticisms. ODD-METERED BLUEGRASS A GO-GO. Virtuosity at the service of heartiness by two of the nicest fellows." - Massimo Ricci, TOUCHING EXTREMES, Italy:
"They're not jazz, they're more like folk and blues, but the duo Gutpuppet (Scot Ray on slide guitar, Bill Barrett on harmonica) can play to an avant-leaning audience because of the quality of their musicianship and the originality of their sound. Their new album, "4," continues to stretch in new directions, with Ray's acoustic slide guitars (up to 22 strings!), banjo and dobro jangling and scraping sensually, while Barrett demonstrates unsurpassed technical command of his chromatic mouth harp. SHITKICK STUFF, KEENING INDIA MOJO, BALLADIC MEDITATION -- all of it's supremely listenable; your kids will even dig it. Wait a minute, is this entertainment? Yeah, it's art too, but don't tell anybody." - Greg Burk, METALJAZZ, Los Angeles
“Gutpuppet is a duo consisting of Scot Ray, who plays dobro and slide guitars with anywhere from six to twenty-two strings, plus some occasional slide banjo and Bill Barrett, who plays chromatic harmonica. As the title suggests this is their fourth album together and in my opinion, it is their best one yet. An all original set of tunes, with titles such as Kentucky Rebitika, Astral Harmonium, and Juniper Trance giving perhaps a hint of their eclectic sound combining elements of the blues, American folk, Eastern-sounding music, and a healthy dose of ‘none of the above’.
I guess it could be loosely described as jazz, maybe a term like ‘improvisation modern folk music’ might be more accurate, but whatever it is, it is great music. Sometimes rocking, sometimes meditative, sometimes almost deranged, always brilliantly executed with some amazing interplay between the two of them. Scot, a world renowned trombonist in a previous life, is a true virtuoso of the sliding strings, and Bill is simply in a class of his own on the chromatic, one of the very few really unique voices on the instrument.
Anyone with the slightest interest in vistas beyond Adler, Thieleman’s and third position blues chromatic should be checking this guy out. Delicate single note filigrees, mesmerizing chordal grooves, and honking blues lines all flow from his CX-12 alongside disquieting tones that sound like mosquitoes and who knows what else.
THIS IS MORE THAN RECOMMENDED LISTENING - IT SHOULD BE COMPULSORY!” - Pat Missin, HARMONICA WORLD, UK