Backed by a murderer’s row of local Nashville talent (Erin Rae, Rich Ruth, Sean Thompson, Adam Bednarik and Dominic Billett), Spencer Cullum returns to AD fold with the following encore Lagniappe Session. Not unlike his 2021 entry, the set of covers riffs on various portions of Cullum’s musical diet, from the ’70s avant pop of Slapp Happy to the ineffable magic that was Soft Machine’s second full-length.
After a few more prolific years as a perpetually in-demand session player, Spencer Cullum’s highly anticipated sophomore record is another gleaming display of folk beauty and avant-pop sensibilities. A sorcerer of the pedal steel guitar, the Nashville-via-England musician brings a fresh new approach on the heels of contributing to the sessions of the likes of Angel Olsen’s Big Time. The breezy, pastoral atmosphere of an Essex countryside still permeates Coin Collection 2, where the minimalist hums of harp, mandolin and cello flow from a theoretical, cozy pub. All the while, Cullum’s vocals shine as more maturely pronounced than the last time around.
Not one to avoid earnestly discussing and exploring the sounds of his English influences, Cullum reached into the overflowing 60s/70s British folk bag, proffering three selections from pillars of the era in Kevin Ayers, Trees, and Bridget St. John. These deft reinterpretations are patient and affecting, each take heightened by Rae’s truly fine vocal accompaniments. Overt respect to the forebears.
With Spencer Cullum’s Coin Collection, the Nashville musician did not set out to simply craft a solo debut in the “singer/songwriter” mold. Originally hailing from Essex in southeast England, Cullum intended to bring musicians together and strongly invoke the spirit of influences such as the loose knit Canterbury music scene, as well as local institutions like London’s famed UFO Club.