To follow up on our top 20 Madison records 0f 2019 list list, Tone Madison‘s writers looked back on a wide range of other albums and EPs that stood out this year among our city’s varied musical offerings. Up next, we’ll look at some of our favorite singles, one-offs, and deep-cut tracks of the year.
Artist [and Professor of Printmaking] John Hitchcock’s Bury The Hatchet project (currently on display at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art’s Wisconsin Triennial, complete with a vinyl listening station), combines printmaking, oral history, and music to explore the clash of Indigenous people and white conquest in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma. (Hitchcock himself is of Comanche, Kiowa, and European descent, and has family ties to that area.) Playing electric, lap steel, and pedal steel guitars, Hitchcock both evokes and challenges our romantic notions about the Great Plains with expansive, arid compositions. Layered throughout are additional strings, wind instruments, percussion, and keyboard from a large cast of Madison musicians, and audio recordings of Comanche and Kiowa songs, prayers, and interviews. One high point, “Jimmy Creek (A Comanche Story),” weaves together Hannah Edlén’s clarinet with multiple tracks of guitar to accompany a reel-to-reel recording of Hitchcock’s grandfather, Saukwaukee John Dussome Reid. This album is one component of a larger project, but it’s immersive all on its own, placing the listener in a space that’s at once dreamlike and solidly connected to real places and events. —Scott Gordon