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Spare Parts is the first solo album from singer / songwriter / multi-instrumentalist John Davis since the release of Blue Mountains in 1997. In contrast to his collaborative work with The Folk Implosion, Davis’s solo work in the ’90s was about as solo as solo gets. He played all the instruments and did all of the cover art for records like Pure Night and Leave Home, as well as for assorted singles and compilation tracks. Having been there and done that, Davis charts a new course with Spare Parts, right down to the cover art, which was done by Boston-area painter and photographer Walter Crump. No less than eight musicians and three engineers lend their talents to the ten tracks and 65+ minutes of this double-LP. (Be warned: the songs are long.) Appearing most frequently are drummer and percussionist Jose Medeles (Breeders, 1939 Ensemble, Portland Ore’s Revival Drum Shop) and cellist and violin player Megan Siebe (Anniversaire, Simon Joyner and The Ghosts). Siebe also appears as a member of a trio of backing vocalists that includes Laura Burhenn (Mynabirds, Bright Eyes, The Postal Service) and Sarah Gleason. Simon Joyner produced the strings and backing vocals, and contributes backing vocals himself to the track “Blood Feud.” Mike Friedman plays lap steel on “You Won’t Cry” and “Southwest,” and Chris Deden plays drums on “Upon a Train.” The record was mixed by Brandon Eggleston (Mountain Goats, Swans, Scout Niblet, tUnE-yArDs, Modest Mouse). Spare Parts mines an acoustic singer-songwriter vein while avoiding a stylistic rut by veering back and forth between artistic formulas in a way that recalls Folk Implosion’s Dare to Be Surprised. Influences include the textural percussion work of Han Bennik and Andrew Cyrille, the electronic moonscapes of Stockhausen, the drawn-out ballardry of Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” and the spooky strings and reclusion of Scott Walker. Cue it up—Shrimper promises you won’t have to wait fifteen years for the followup this time.