top of page

Joe Westerlund

Durham, NC
9:45 PM
Eagles Club
For Fans Of... Sam Gendel, Arthur Russell, Don Cherry

Joe Westerlund is a drummer familiar from many possible contexts. For a decade, he served as the dynamic backbone of Megafaun, the North Carolina trio of sophisticated songwriting and winning charisma that he cofounded. Under his own name, Westerlund—a longtime student of Milford Graves—has emerged as an intuitive improviser. He served as the pulse beneath the folk abstraction of Califone. He added incisive percussion to a big-band version of Sylvan Esso and buoyed the svelte stoner soul of Gayngs. All those threads crisscross and even coil during Reveries in the Rift, Westerlund’s immersive second album under his own name. His wealth of experiences are recast into a series of splendid instrumental fantasies and scene-setting vignettes without forsaking a sense of song. Still, a rootedness remains, Westerlund never letting the listener drift too far from the center he has established. Westerlund, after all, has spent three decades gleaning lessons from folk musicians and avant-garde icons, from close friends and challenging strangers. Out of that magpie past, Reveries in the Rift is the home Westerlund welcomes us into, as personal and warm as it is idiosyncratic and enthralling.

bottom of page