"Four Stones" brings together remastered versions of three tracks that were only previously available on (now sold out) limited edition tape compilations on the Folklore Tapes label along with two new pieces "Danse Macabre" and the 14 minute "Four Stones" which find Dean using a new kick drum pedal to add a percussive undercurrent to his music. The Folklore Tapes tracks are "The Blood of St. John" (from Calendar Customs Vol IV: Crown of Light), "Rule of Threes (from Lancashire Folklore Tapes Vol 1: Pendle, 1612) and "The Devil's Knell" (from Folklore Tapes Calendar Customs Vol III: Midwinter Rites and Revelries).
"Four Stones" was recorded live with no overdubs
Selected review quotes for "Four Stones"
“At any given time, there are always a handful of visionary guitarists who carve out their own compelling and distinctive niche, as well as many more who exhibit virtuosic technique or write consistently great songs. McPhee’s work checks off all three of those boxes, but his greatest moments reach another plane altogether where it feels like he is channeling something much deeper, more timeless, and almost supernatural...his most essential album to date“. (Brainwashed)
“Dean McPhee is a solo guitarist, but not one you can comfortably place “in the tradition of..” say, a Bert Jansch or John Fahey. A courtly electric guitar melody in a reverberating sound picture is often McPhee’s starting point, placing him on an unexpected line between John Renbourn and Mogwai”. 8/10 (Uncut Magazine)
“Simultaneously soaring and depthless, soothing and unnerving, solemn and joyful, McPhee’s excursions feel weird, unknowable, as if the path we’re on is both bright and labyrinthine, a certain route to the unknown. **** (MOJO Magazine)
“On Four Stones, Dean is continuing to resonantly fingerpick Telecaster routes through a dubby background of echo, reverb, drones and loops. The effect is as if leaving the listener stranded on dank, deserted moorland in a century long past. There, only the tiny breaths of tremolo can possibly bring warmth to bones shivering under wet tunics” **** (Record Collector Magazine).
“This is a well crafted series of songs and soundscapes from Dean and a great addition to an already impressive body of work that is well worth exploring”. (Terrascope)
Vaché s Stephen Spera doesn't listen to many guitarists- but there it is- calling Cartwright a guitarist is like calling Nicola Tesla a bird feeder. Another deep, gorgeous outing here....am/tm editions vaché
Absolutely top notch electric and acoustic guitar ambient. Loopy, sparkling, melodic sounds comparable to the meditative moments of Krautrock masters Ashra, Popol Vuh and Neu's Michael Rother. Mike G @ Ambient Music Guide