We’re big fans of Betty Benedeadly since being introduced to her foot-stomping instrumental country and surf rock stylings when Desert Records released her debut EP From The Mesa. This was swiftly followed by her second EP, The Adventures Of Mabel & Carter, which Reza Mills stated in his review was ‘pure ear candy and a veritable delight to listen to’.
After two captivating EPs, we were hungry for a full-length album and our prays to the desert spirits were answered as Benedeadly, along with her musical partner in crime Braden Guess, who contributed on The Adventures Of Mabel & Carter and also play together in the surf rock band Sheverb, will be releasing At The Institute Of Mentalphysics on the 17th February, again through her kindred home Desert Records.
And today, prior to the official release date, it is with great pleasure that The Shaman can bring you the jaunty opening track Dust Storm Dance, about which Benedeadly states, ‘This song captures the essence of everything we set out searching for during our month-long residency at the Institute of Mentalphysics, we channeled the beautiful tracts of unadulterated Joshua Tree desert as we explored the intersection of psychedelia and folk music.’ Benedeadly then adds, ‘For the rest of my life, I’ll be transported to the Joshua Tree desert every time I hear this song, and I hope this sensation transmits to others who hear it, too.’
Now click below to dance the night away in the dust storm…
More On Betty Benedeadly, Braden Guess & ‘At The Institute Of Mentalphysics’
What lies at the intersection of psychedelia and folk music? How can the land speak through us? These are some of the questions that Betty Benedeadly & Braden Guess sought to answer on their month-long journey into the Joshua Tree desert. Their reply took the form of a seven song instrumental album that invites the listener into old-time, foot-stompin’ pickin’ circles, as well as that wide-open, ambient country air, all while maintaining their signature cinematic sound.
Part sonic exploration, part time capsule, this soon-to-be-released album features the local musicians that Benedeadly & Guess befriended over the course of their time in Joshua Tree, including Janie Cowan on upright bass, Victoria Williams on guzheng, and Ron Therrio on lap steel guitar.
Layered in the organic textures of percussion tracks, you’ll also hear crystals gathered near the Giant Rock and bones found while hiking. On the final track, you’ll hear original audio of Institute founder Ding Le Mei preaching Mentalphysics, his signature combination of affirmations, visualizations and breathwork, as learned from Tibetan monks in the 1920s.
At The Institute Of Mentalphysics was recorded during May 2022 at, well where else, but the Institute Of Mentalphysics in Joshua Tree, CA during a month-long residency at the Retreat Center in partnership with Whole Arts and the Joshua Tree Folk School.
At The Institute Of Mentalphysics Tracklist:
01. Dust Storm Dance
02. Sand In My Boot
03. Fading Painted Sky
04. Mojave Mystic
05. Lullaby To The Stars
06. Primordial Rhythms
07. Invocation Of The Ancient Desert
Playing on At The Institute Of Mentalphysics is:
Betty Benedeadly – Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Jaw Harp, Wooden Frog
Braden Guess – Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Bass, Banjo, Mandolin, Dobro, Synthesizers, Conga, Percussion, Bones, Crystals
Janie Cowan – Upright Bass
Victoria Williams – Guzheng
Ron Therrio – Lap Steel Guitar
At The Institute Of Mentalphysics, the full-length album of spaghetti western spirit from Betty Benedeadly and Braden Guess will be released on 17th February through Desert Records, pre-sales start today and you can grab a copy over on Bandcamp.