When: Sun., Oct. 16, 7 p.m. 2011
For Boston-area guitarist Glenn Jones, devising novel tunings is at least as important as writing songs, and for his fourth solo album, The Wanting (Thrill Jockey), he's written a short description of each composition, explaining what he's trying to evoke and which string is tuned to which note. Jones has always been open about his admiration for John Fahey, the brilliant fingerstyle guitarist who blazed a trail (called "American primitive" or "Takoma school," the latter after Fahey's old record label) that's now trod by more artists than ever—in fact, he edited and wrote liner notes for a new box set of early Fahey material called Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (Dust-to-Digital). Jones applies the ideas of his idol with originality, and despite his admitted indebtedness, his music has a mystery and magic of its own. The new album is packed with strong, often hooky melodies, and though he elaborates on his knotty themes with his usual transparent logic, their development never feels schematic or preprogrammed, not even considered in light of the context he's established for each song. All the pieces here are instrumental, and most are played on six- and 12-string acoustic guitars; on three, though, Jones switches to banjo, using the same sort of intuitive technique he brings to the guitar rather than traditional clawhammer or bluegrass styles. For the epic 18-minute closer, "The Orca Grande Cement Factory at Victorville," Jones combined two unfinished compositions, and free-jazz drummer Chris Corsano helped glue them together by adding masterfully subtle accents in four separate overdubs. —Peter Margasak The Horse's Ha and Paulina Hollers open.