Instant classic: Greg Loiacono’s ‘Mystic Traces’

Greg Loiacono’s “Mystic Traces” is stellar from start to finish.

Greg Loiacono’s new album “Mystic Traces” takes you on a winding, whimsical journey – LISTEN HERE

Mother Hips’ co-founder as well as Green Leaf Rustlers guitar player and singer Greg Loiacono has just released a new album (available worldwide via Blue Rose Music) titled “Mystic Traces.” This is a follow-up to 2016’s “Songs From A Golden Dream.” I’m a big fan of that one, so “Mystic Traces” has had me intrigued for a while. Greg has released four singles since last year. The videos are below, and each touches on different subject matters and musical aesthetics. The record was recorded at Scott Hirsch’s Echo Magic Studios in Ojai, California.

This album is stellar from start to finish. I expect it to be in the mix for musical awards and significant critical acclaim. It might be Loiacono’s best work since 2001’s “Green Hills of Earth” by The Mother Hips. I know that sounds like heavy praise, but this LP has earned it. I know a great record when I hear it. This resonates right away, and actually still grows with each listen. Let’s dive in.

Opening track “Shoot The Messenger” features Neal Casal on slide guitar, alongside Greg. A funky, slinky groove slightly reminiscent to “They Love Each Other” pulsates with tasty guitar licks throughout. The track sets the tone for the album, showcasing a little more of a low-key vibe with melodic elements, but with darker subject matters being introduced with nuance as well.

Greg Loiacono

“Animal Clouds” floats a little more, with Kyle Field sitting in on guitar. Greg tells a cool story about how Kyle’s guitar part came about in my recent interview HERE. The imagination starts to open up with atmospheric musicality taking the helm. “Do What You Do” sounds like Roy Orbison backed by the Drive-By Truckers. Pretty rad.

“Seen You Good” is a standout moment. Very bare, acoustic and moody. Casal drops in again for some distant harmonies with Greg. It’s a tender song, but with bittersweet components in its lyrics. “Into The Light of Another Day” brings a Verve/Oasis/Beatles soundscape. Title track “Mystic Traces” is a cosmic cowboy jaunt through the wine country. There’s a kick to it. The turnaround has great feels with well-placed “oohs” to accompany its jangly chord profession. Nice, twangy guitar playing throughout.

Other highlights – “San Felipe” would be right at home as the lead song in a James Bond flick, “Chamberlain’s Trunk” has one of the more creative storylines on the album, and “Close Your Eyes (We’ll Be There Soon)” channels classic California Highway 1 imagery.

“Mystic Traces” is available everywhere. My vinyl is ordered. Visit www.gregloiacono.com and www.bluerosemusic.com to get your copy, and check out some merch. This album is going to be remembered as a difference-making classic, in my opinion. You might as well get on the train and procure yours now.

— Jon Siembieda

  • Greg Loiacono
    ‘Mystic Traces’
    Released: May 15, 2020

Watch:

Video for “Animal Clouds” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exQWZQLL91A

Video for “Chamberlain’s Trunk” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSE3nEZLyVY

Video for “Close Your Eyes (We’ll Be There Soon)” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bt60BGOxV8U

Video for “San Felipe” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd8IhRi7ZlI

ABOUT Jon Siembieda

Jon Siembieda
Writer Jon Siembieda plays guitar in the Southern California-based touring rock 'n' roll band Hunter & The Dirty Jacks. He is an avid concertgoer and album collector. His top five favorite bands are The Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, Faces, Mother Hips and Chris Robinson Brotherhood.

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