“Like a sunrise in the desert, Idaho's music exists in its own cinematic, if unnerving, universe.” -CMJ (2 Disc Pkg).
It was during rare moments of sunlight that Jeff Martin (Idaho) was able to create his last release The Lone Gunman (2005) amidst a trial by fire initiation into the corporate world of television scoring. Halfway into completion of the next, as yet untitled, Idaho release, he sees fit to re-release the long out of print Forbidden EP & Alas '97/'98 in a single, remastered 10 year anniversary special edition package (2 disc set). These records represented an unexpected turn from Idaho's beautifully bombastic rocker 3 Sheets To The Wind '96. Pared down from a full size band to a duo, these two albums illustrate a study in economy and subtlety that still sound fresh today. The final track The Sun Is All There Is foreshadows what would follow a few months later with the turn of the millennium release of Hearts Of Palm, voted one of the top five releases of the year by French paper Libération along with Radiohead’s Kid A and Johnny Cash’s Solitary Man.
Idaho has out-lasted practically all of its peers and has been slowly and steadily achieving no less than a cult following. With these two albums Martin achieves a timeless austere beauty that overturns convention in his own unique way.
In addition to Jeff Martin 4 string guitars, vocals and all other instruments, the album also features Dan Seta, 4 string guitars, Melissa Auf Der Maur, backing vocals (bv) on Alas, Malone Koenig bv on Bass Crawl, Christy Schnabel bv on The Sun Is All There Is, Ron Jannelli oboe on Only In The Desert, Claudia Parducci viola on Jump Up, Joey Waronker drums on Alas and John Goldman bass on Goldenseal.
He has enlisted his long time engineer Bill Sanke (bass) and on and off Idaho drummer Bryan Kertenian to hit the road again after a long hiatus to bring Idaho's plangent soliloquies down to earth for a visit.
*NOTE EXPLICIT LYRICS: Disc 2 contains music Jeff recorded circa 1997/’98, including cues from the film How To Make The Cruelest Month and 5 songs written and recorded with John Voscamp of Peglegasus. These Martin/Voscamp songs can only be described as - more fun than a pilgrim gun on a Batman hunt.
**NOTE re: Forbidden EP ~ Alas: Special Edition's 20 page Booklet: Only the US release (Halfpipe Records) sold here (CD Baby), through Halfpipe or Idaho Music contains the booklet.
released February 12, 2008
Dan Seta: 4 string guitars
Jeff Martin: 4 string guitars, vocals and all other instruments.
backing vocals (bv) on Alas: Melissa Auf Der Maur.
bv on Bass Crawl: Malone Koenig.
bv on The Sun Is All There Is: Christy Schnabel.
oboe on Only In The Desert: Ron Jannelli.
viola on Jump Up: Claudia Parducci.
drums on Alas: Joey Waronker.
all songs mixed by Bill Sanke
The Forbidden EP was recorded in Dec ’96
Alas in early ’98
The Sun Is All There Is in early ’99
artwork by Jeff Martin.
art direction & design by Lee Scheinbaum