High in the Mountain
Get Hip Folk Series
Stephen Sciulli has led a diverse musical life in Pittsburgh. A founding member of the punk band Carsickness, he was also part of that band’s second life as the Celtic-influenced Ploughman’s Lunch, before forming the sound-healing duo Life in Balance and, more recently, the group Standing Wave. Sciulli calls High in the Mountain, his first solo release, “country music from an imaginary country.” The description sums up the expansive release. He handles all the instruments, including resonator guitars, lap steels, flutes, synths and pre-programmed beats. The immediacy of country music gets filtered through a delivery that recalls Oar, by ex-Moby Grape member Skip Spence. Like that cult classic, Mountain’s sweet melodies have an eerie delivery, where guitars seem to be melting onto the beat. Sciulli sings in a low voice that often recalls the late Leonard Cohen. Even when songs clock over seven minutes, they maintain focus by going through prog-like changes or spinning strange tales in its verses.
Sciulli performs at the closing for Non-Punk Pittsburgh at SPACE. 7 p.m. Fri., June 16. 812 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-325-7723