An atmospheric tribute to an Athens landmark
Sand & Lines is a haunted album. It was recorded in Athens’ famed Georgia Theatre—and nudged into existence by Theater owner Wilmot “Wil” Greene, who volunteered the venue as studio space—a little more than a year before the venerable music house went up in flames in June 2009. Using Cowboy Junkies’ legendary Trinity Session as inspiration, the local dream-pop group set up camp around two microphones for four days, holding themselves to a live blueprint with no overdubs or extraneous studio effects. The result is somber, pastoral and startlingly visceral, capturing the careful chaos of their performances; Dense, soaked-wool guitar textures hang in the air over stately trumpets on their cover of Galaxie 500’s “Tugboat”; a cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” delivers despondent violins, soft harmonies and crashing electric guitar. The Georgia Theatre may be in ashes, but its legacy will echo through the rafters every time this stunning live collection is played.