First, there is “Timoney’s”, a winding and whirling three-minute instrumental that seems to happily announce “once upon a time” to Nathan Salsburg’s 35 minute album Third. Timoney’s brings me back to Michal Hromek’s 1990 recording, Celtic Guitar, that my Father would pop into the boombox above our refrigerator when I was a kid. Instinctually, on my first listen to Third, I laid in the middle of the floor and daydreamed to the solo guitar riffs just as I did with my Father. I could mention here that “Timoney’s” is a nod to Liam O’Flaherty’s folk tale “Timoney’s Ass”. I could, but I won’t. I could also ramble about my affection for Bonnie “Prince” Billy which would contribute to my attachment toward this record. Again, I could.
Second, there is the imagery. Each track Salsburg composed has a richness refreshing to what one thought they knew about Americana folk guitar. Listening is like watching Queen Anne’s lace become a continuous, fluffed white, mass along north country roads. It is watching your Grandpa’s paper fingers light a Lucky Strike and yarn about the unimaginable legend he was as a young boy. It is being scolded harshly for disappearing along the winter iceberg landscape to find, for just a moment, silence.
Third is a Salsburg’s narrative. Third is the listener’s narrative.