Psychedelic Banjo Masters JD Pinkus & Tall Tall Trees Deliver ‘Ponder Machine’

[Cover photo credit to Sandlin Gaither]

The album Ponder Machine, will be released by JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers) & Tall Tall Trees (Mike Savino), on June 30th, 2023 via Shimmy-Disc. The new LP is said to “contain the spirit of high mountain bluegrass, laden with profound and somewhat sinister depth”.

They introduce the album thus:

Take a Deep Dive into their secluded mountain stream, but beware the rapids and hang tight to your tube! That heretic howl is not in your imagination, and yes, the ancient trees may shift slightly as you rocket past, just enough to offer a glowing glimpse into the strange new world  illuminated by a pair of passionate, psychedelic banjo masters.

They continue:

If a trembling string fails to find its traditional fret, the network of fungi beneath your feet may be alerted by the wanton sounds of SpaceGrass (or is it ‘SlowGrass’ ?) shifting magnetically in the cosmic blue-lit forest. Watch out for boiling soils beneath your feet. Hold tight in that brainy space between your ears – better just lay back and enjoy the long slow slide.

Ponder Machine comes with an extra 30 minutes of music when you buy the cassette version or download the digital-only tracks.

On the recording of the LP, Mike Savino writes:

The unlikely-hood of two traveling one man psychedelic banjo bands living on the same hill in Asheville, North Carolina is well, possibly less rare than in other places, but a definitely a good start to a one-liner. 

Having JD Pinkus and Kramer in my studio for 10 days during a record setting August heatwave has permanently altered my consciousness. We began recording with the semblance of a plan and soon abandoned that plan to chase rabbits. I honestly cannot remember recording much of this music, not due to substance or faulty memory, but because I completely let go. I became a spectator. The entire record feels like a collective fever dream and I will cherish the time we spent making it for a long long time.

I no longer want to think about music, I just want to do it. I don’t even remember.

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