Home Read Albums Of The Week: Jeff Cotton | The Fantasy Of Reality

Albums Of The Week: Jeff Cotton | The Fantasy Of Reality

The Beefheart guitarist still has magic fingers — but lacks the Captain's unhinged genius & power — on his long-overdue but frustratingly inconsist comeback album.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After playing guitar and lap steel with the legendary Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band, appearing on the ground-breaking album Trout Mask Replica under the pseudonym Antennae Jimmy Semens, and contributing to the Beefheart albums Strictly Personal and Mirror Man, Jeff Cotton withdrew from the commercial music business for nearly 50 years.

Using the island state of Hawaii as a home base, he has emerged from his seclusion with his first solo album The Fantasy of Reality. Whimsical, playful and tongue-in-cheek, the album finds Cotton delivering a psychedelic journey that will delight Beefheart devotees while bringing plenty of new ideas to the table over the course of its sprawling 22-track, 66-minute runtime. Trout Mask Replica cover designer Cal Schenkel collaborates once again, returning to contribute to the internal artwork of the album and extend the Beefheart canon into the 2020s.

Across the decades, The Magic Band’s power and influence have only grown in might, and 1969’s Trout Mask Replica still excites fans to this day, in part due to the mystery and enigma of members such Cotton. In 1967, Cotton was scoped by Don Van Vliet Captain Beefheart himself — to replace Ry Cooder on guitar. He then went one to help craft some of Beefheart and theb and’s most vibrant recordings and later contributed to the cult band MU. Now blending together musical strands including jazz, Delta blues, Hawaiian and the avant-garde to create a melting pot of ideas, Cotton will astonish fans with his comeback.”