Winter Hours – Chicago, Cabaret Metro, 10/18/89 (R.I.P. Michael Carlucci)

This Thursday I learned the sad news that Winter Hours guitarist/leading light Michael Carlucci passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  I’ve featured music from the Hours on W/O, and quite coincidentally I corresponded with Michael earlier in the year for the first time.  He expressed his appreciation for keeping the name of his former band alive, and also informed me that plans were in the works for a 2016 reissue of some of Winter Hours earlier records. 

While I didn’t foster a frequent or deep rapport with him personally, the music was a different story.  The New Jersey five piece he performed in were consistently vaunted by critics, who often emphasized the Americana inflections that by and large became their calling card.  True, but there were some diffuse post-punk elements peppered in as well, particularly on their first two EPs and the debut 1986 full length Leaving Time, all surfacing on Link Records.  To get a better handle on what they offered sonically, think a less knotty Dream Syndicate, or the Rain Parade had they curtailed their psych urges a notch.  These college radio staples were followed by their second album, Winter Hours, arriving via Chrysalis  in ’89.  Although they hadn’t sold their soul upon moving to the big leagues, the record could have made greater commercial inroads had Chrysalis not been so intent on promoting hair metal hacks instead, but I digress

I’m presenting a pristine radio broadcast of a 1989 Winter Hours concert in Chicago, in which the band was touring in support of their then-new album, mentioned above.  Bristling with warm frenetic energy the Hours delivered an inspired performance that evening heightening the effectiveness of an already potent body of work.  As you might guess, there’s a focus on material from Winter Hours, but they’re eager to delve into their back catalog, pulling out among other pearls, “Hyacinth Girl,” the band’s jangly signature piece that shall echo from the broadcast towers of left-of-the-dial outlets for decades to come.  I would hope anyway.  Take your pick of MP3 of lossless FLAC below, and feel free to check out a set of demos from the immediate precursor band to Winter Hours, Ward 8 here.

01. Longest Century
02. One Small Achievement
03. Smoke Rings
04. Tried So Hard
05. Hyacinth Girl
06. Roadside Flowers
07. The Confessional
08. At a Turtle’s Pace
09. Bus Stop
10. Broken Little Man
11. Rise
12. Stay With Me
13. Just Like Love
14. If I Could Make You Hear Me
15. Sweet Virginia
16. Island of Jewels
17. Soul Kitchen

MP3   or   FLAC

Articles Origin: Winter Hours – Chicago, Cabaret Metro, 10/18/89 (R.I.P. Michael Carlucci)

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