The Third Mind (Dave Alvin, Victor Krummenacher, Jesse Sykes, David Immerglück and Michael Jerome) returns with 2, adding even more mind-altering psychedelic guitar work than what endeared their self-titled debut to fans.
The all star collective who recorded Third Mind's self-titled debut has returned for it's sequel, 2. The project was initiated by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and guitarist Dave Alvin, along with bassist Victor Krummenacher, known for his work with Camper Van Beethoven, Cracker, Monks of Doom, and Eyelids. The lineup also features drummer Michael Jerome, renowned for his collaborations with Richard Thompson and other notable artists, and guitarist David Immerglück, recognized for his time with Counting Crows, the Ophelias, Monks of Doom, Camper Van Beethoven, and a stint with John Hiatt. Vocalist and acoustic guitarist Jesse Sykes has joined the group as well.
2 showcases the band's evolution into a cohesive ensemble, while maintaining their original approach of creating spontaneous group improvisations. Alvin and Krummenacher had long discussed the idea of making an album that stepped outside their comfort zone, adopting the free-form studio techniques inspired by Miles Davis' groundbreaking works like Bitches Brew. This unconventional method involved no rehearsals and no pre-planned arrangements, a concept unfamiliar to most traditional rock musicians. Alvin explained, "We had a crazy idea and were looking for musicians who perhaps didn’t think it was so insane." Eventually, they found a group of adventurous musicians willing to join them, and together, they recorded The Third Mind in a three-day session.
The tune stack for 2 primarily consists of songs originally composed in the 1960s, with the exception of "Tall Grass," a track Sykes and Alvin wrote specifically for this record. The choice to focus on '60s songs was influenced by the belief that these songs encompassed the influences of the group's members and their freewheeling approach to music. The songs, from "Groovin’ Is Easy" to "A Little Bit Of Rain," were familiar in the underground folk, blues, and rock scene of that era but never went much beyond that. The only exception is "Sally Go Round The Roses," originally recorded by the Jaynets in 1963, which reached No. 2 on the Billboard Top 100. The band's treatment of "Sally Go Round The Roses" and the other tracks on 2 reflects their ability to transform the original pop and R&B versions into a unique, bluesy soundscape.
The Third Mind offers a musical journey through the collective musical backgrounds of its members. It fuses elements of folk-rock, blues, garage rock, psychedelic, jazz, and alternative rock, reflecting the diverse talents and influences within the group.