One of the oddest collaborations of the year finds Ani
DiFranco and folk singer/storyteller Utah Phillips collaboration on a brand new
album, The Past Didn't Go Anywhere, which will be released on DiFranco's
Righteous Babe label on Oct. 15. The album is a distinctly '90s collaboration.
To create it, DiFranco sifted through 20 years of recordings of Phillips
telling stories, and, using digital sampling, messed with them, creating what
she calls "Post-Industrial Campfire Stories." These treated vocals were them
set to music tracks created by DiFranco. The music that DiFranco has created
specifically for this album is more experimental that what has, to date,
appeared on her remarkable solo albums. DiFranco's intention was to create an
audio soundscape that would compliment the humor, wisdom and Americana of
61-year-old Utah Phillips. Combining the human of performers with latest
recording studio manipulation techniques, DiFranco and Phillips have come up
with a striking work that underlines the old truism about learning from the
past, although in this case, it appears that you can teach an old dog
new tricks. Very cool.