You couldn’t ask for a more perfect rock n’ roll saga. Rock group gains a huge groundswell of support based on their nigh-legendary performances, signs to a label, and releases a critically-acclaimed double album. Then, everything falls apart, bandmates get fired, and the lead singer goes through a personal crisis that eventually finds him in the desert writing a solo album about the war in heaven.
Such is the story of Josh T. Pearson, the (former) frontman of the lauded — especially ’round these parts — Lift To Experience.
It seems doubtful that Lift To Experience will ever raise its shaggy, bearded Texan head anytime soon (though reunion rumors are always flying around the Interwebs). Adding further insult to injury is that it’s equally doubtful Pearson’s solo album, which was supposed to come out on Bella Union — who released Lift To Experience’s The Texas-Jerusalem Crossroads — will ever surface as well.
For the time being, Pearson is just ambling about Europe, playing the odd live show and festival (such as this year’s All Tomorrow’s Parties). Thankfully, in this day and age of YouTube, it’s possible to see some of his performances without having to cross the Atlantic.
Of course, watching such a searing, intense performance as the one above via grainy, shaky video is as frustrating as anything else.
I get the same vibe watching these clips that I had when I saw David Eugene Edwards (Woven Hand) perform at Cornerstone several years ago. Namely that I’m not listening to (or watching, as the case may be) a musician play their songs so much as I am witnessing a prophet channelling something down from “on high.”
Apparently, Pearson has no plans to release any of this new material, which strikes me as just as overwhelming, spirit-drenched, ragged, and loud as Lift To Experience ever was, and maybe even moreso.
Which means that if anyone out there has a bootleg or two, you know what to do.