The Old Century
In The Innocence Mission, Keren Peris' voice (recalling Kate Bush by way of Natalie Merchant) took center stage. While her husband and bandmate, Don Peris, delivered great vocal parts here and there, his exquisite guitar playing proved to be his unique voice. On his solo record This Old Century, he explores both the surface and the depths of that instrumental voice. From the vintage reverb–saturated “Electrostar” to the lilting closer, “Bicycling,” Peris offers up a generous 15 tracks of gorgeous guitar instrumentals. The songs here focus more on mood than dexterous pyrotechnics. The title track drips autumnal watercolors through pedaling arpeggios, casting a melancholic beauty that could well accompany a morning stroll through Peris’ town of Lancaster, Pa. At more than four minutes, “Concertina” pays homage to its namesake instrument, with rich Roma flavors accompanying Peris’ waltzing rhythms alongside accordion, cello, viola, and ukulele. “Speedwell Forge” is a slightly brighter and breezier composition, robust with flirty melodies and an old wooden resonance.