Rick Rizzo and Tara Key

Punk Rock brought Rick Rizzo and Tara Key surreptitiously together in the death disco days of the late 70's, with Tara wailing ferociously with the legendary Babylon Dance Band in an opening gig for D.O.A and Rick pogoing shyly on the fringe of the dance "pit".

It would be four years later that they would actually meet at Louisville punk rock H.Q. 1069. Over the years, The Babs, Antietam, and/or Eleventh Dream Day would play the annual Derby shows in Louisville. Rizzo and Key founded a mutual admiration society at these all-night fests. Key and Rizzo traded parts on each other's records and joined each other enumerable times on the stage.

Tara describes their choice, in early 1999, to make a record together, "we took the party talk to the 4 a.m. soul-bearing state, and most amazing to me, we did it wordlessly?.. although, all over the record I hear us finish each others' sentences here and allowing room for soliloquy there and at different times we both play the roll of Greek chorus."

Logistically, this was mostly a tape-trading affair. Rizzo's parts were done at Chicago's Truckstop by Braden King (Dutch Harbor). Tara recorded her portions at Chessie studios with long time musical partner Tim Harris. Again Tara describes the process "one of us would send a piece on tape. Depending on the tune it would be a query or a statement or a rant. Round two respondent gave it a new twist or a birthing or stood back and interjected an Amen or two. We talked about Pollock and Winslow Homer and J. M. W. Turner more than we ever talked about the tunes. Tapes traveled back and forth for almost nine months. The feel always was one of call and response, feint, connect; if you're walking the point I have your back." The duo did have the opportunity to record together in two separate sessions in New York. Tara and Rick were aided and abetted in the New York sessions by Georgia Hubley, Tim Harris, Rick Brown, and Katie Gentile.

This largely instrumental record (there are two words) is a long distance phone call with two friends reflecting on and responding to each other's remarks. The surprise of Dark Edson Tiger comes not in the depth and quality of those remarks, but in the pastoral beauty with which they are delivered. Two Les Paul ravers jumping in with no idea of the outcome. Leaping off from experience, the pair went weightless.

Rick Rizzo and Tara Key also played at...