Devendra Banhart | Nino RojoIf you haven't heard this young master yet, dive in headfirst. Ay mama! 'Nino Rojo' is a bunch o' more songs from the 'Rejoicing in the Hands...' sessions that Devendra Beefheart... er, Banhart laid to tape a while back. He sings about psychedelic squid. He's a gonzo. C'mon, there's a little bit of Beefheart in the boy. When he sings At The Hop with fellow Vetiver daddy-o Andy Cabic my heart goes zing. 'Nino Rojo' might even be a better record than 'Rejoicing In The Hands', its mother record. If you haven't heard this young master yet, dive in headfirst.
On Noah he sounds like a big drunk black woman singing by a busted piano. The words spill from 'tween his teeth hissing, like tears careening down your face. Skip to Be Kind and he's a Caribbean Elvis. It's the most joyous thing he's ever done, a bona fide Creole family romance for a wedding or a wake. See, it ain't altogether crazy that this grizzly skinny wolfboy reminds me of a blues mamma, one that sings about the body and the earth and all the animals that roam their curves. The Good Red Road sees the wayfarer on his way to Jamaica, drugged up on sunshine, and maybe peyote. He sings "blah blah blah." O Devendra, you're a card. Then cross your legs, take off your clothes and sing along to The Electric Heart - you don't need a campfire, nor a starry sky. You don't need anything but love for your fellow man. God bless Devendra, he who whistles like a little sparrow.