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Rear View
By Perpetual Motion
Label: Self Released
Released 1/30/2017
Rear View tracks
1. Nova
2. Race of the Dolphin
3. Oasis
4. Jungle Spirits
5. Northern Lights
6. The Monarch's Journey
7. Blind Man's Bossa
8. Dreamcatcher
9. Pasión De La Luna
10. Jakeob's Pond
11. Harvest Moon
12. Zero Gravity
13. Something Else
Produced by Tom Carleno and Josie Quick
All songs written by Tom Carleno and Josie Quick except “Jungle Spirits” written by Josie Quick and “Something Else” written by Tom Carleno

Remastered by Tom Capek at Colorado Sound Studios
Selected remixing by Steve Avedis at Colorado Sound Studios

Released in 2017 on Swallowtail Music

Josie Quick: electric and acoustic violin, mandolin, percussion
Tom Carleno: guitars
Michael Olson: bass
Rob Chamberlin: drums
Chad Johnson: drums and percussion
Matt Deason: bass
Blake Eberhard: bass
Christian Teele: percussion
Paul Musso: lead guitar

After 25 years of making outstanding acoustic (mostly) music, I think violinist Josie Quick and guitarist Tom Carleno have compiled more than enough street cred to release a career retrospective recording and thus Rear View came to be. The married couple make up the core of Perpetual Motion (with occasional appearances from various rhythm section players – see above) and they have been releasing music and playing live in the Denver area for the aforementioned 25 years. Having seen them play live at a ZMR concert, I can attest to how plugged in these two are to their respective musical personas. I can only imagine that when the entire “band” plays live, the lucky concert attendees have a fantastic time.

Perpetual Motion’s music has evolved from a folky jazz with classical undertones to a more spirited fusion of folk, jazz, world, blues, and rock, although always centered around Quick’s adroit violin playing and Carleno’s sterling guitar talents. Many of the hand-picked (by the artists) favorites on Rear View are higher energy, ranging from tear-the-roof-off tunes to ones that are more subdued but still induce toe tapping and head nodding to the melodies and rhythms. As a result, it goes without saying this is a CD you should grab as you head out the door for a road trip, especially if it is rural, as there is a distinctly rural feel threading throughout the album (except for when the duo cross over into overt world beat territory such as on “Jungle Spirits”). For me, this music would be perfect for the hill country of Wisconsin’s driftless area (the southwestern part of the state). Besides the abundance of uptempo and affirming music, it is also delightfully melodic in style, whether Josie handles the main melody (which seems to be the norm) or Tom takes the wheel. That’s not to say that the duo can’t slow things down, which they do with grace and beauty on “Harvest Moon,” and with a hint of mystery and shadow on “Northern Lights,” but the tracks that really make me prick up my ears are the more kick-ass ones, such as the previously mentioned “Jungle Spirits” which kicks into high gear with plenty of South/Central American influence, especially when percussionist Christian Teele cuts loose on hand drums! Equally infectious is the appropriately titled “Blind Man’s Bossa” which is sultry, sassy, and sexy all rolled into one. “Jacob’s Pond” plugs into a more folky style, with a distinctive playfulness as well as featuring catchy, rollicking rhythms from drummer Chad Johnson and bassist Matt Deason. “Zero Gravity” dials in a more overt jazz element and this time Teele sits behind a trap kit drum set and pounds out some solid rhythms to serve as the bedrock for Quick’s aerobatic flights on violin, especially on those high notes!

There’s just so much great music on Rear View! “Race of the Dolphin” has this ultra-cool passage where Carleno and Quick are perfectly in step, matching each other note for note on both guitar and violin, as they race toward an imaginary finish line, playing at a quiet yet still frenetic pace. Then there is “Oasis” with impressive bass playing by Matt Deason at the outset followed by Josie Quick showing a lot of talent on mandolin; the track is as good-natured a tune as you will ever hear. It has one of those perfect loping midtempo cadences that hits the sweet spot between relaxing and energetic. I could go and on, praising the simpatico of the musicians and the seamless fusion of various genres within selected songs, but you’re just going to have to trust me when I urge you to grab a copy of Rear View and hear its many delights for yourself.

I also have to mention how fun the digipack cover art is, picturing Josie and Tom in much younger years superimposed on an actual rear view mirror. Props to photographer Mark Sink and dig those hairstyles on the couple! Far out, man! Having shared a few meals with both Josie and Tom, I can state emphatically that they have improved their styles but retained their youthful looks and even more youthful spirit!
- reviewed by Bill Binkelman on 7/6/2017
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