El Malpais (Pack Mentality: Wyley Buck Boswell & Jude Salinas)
by: Becky Huskins
photo courtesy of Elizabeth Perkins
June Carter and Johnny Cash. Sonny and Cher. Beyonce’ and Jay-Z. Musical and romantic partnerships take all kinds of forms and there have been so many examples. Sometimes it’s a duet on the stage or writing at home together. More often, though, it’s a behind the scenes creative process that only the closest of friends can see.
Buck Boswell is known to many for his guitar and banjo playing in the bands Luciferian Agenda, The Kyle Perkins Band, International Scar Lovers, and a few others. A native Charlottean, Buck has a reputation for his skills in bands and for booking shows and working the door at The World Famous Milestone Club. Jude Salinas, a classically-trained flautist, is known for her collaboration on many local projects such as Dust & Ashes and Bless These Sounds Under the City. Hailing from Los Angeles, Jude made her way to North Carolina to help her family start up a bar. She met some new friends, fell in love with Buck and the rest, as they say, is musical history.
The two have just collaborated, along with friend and fellow musician Robert Childers, on El Malpais. The name means “badlands” and is what Jude calls “the exact kind of music I had always heard in my head but didn't know how to technically go about making it (since pedals, cables, and amps are totally foreign to me). I’m used to Mahler and Bach!”
But it’s easy to imagine many late-night jam sessions with these two at home - based on the myriad of musical experience between them. Jude says “It’s common to be in the middle of a conversation and for one of us just to pick up an instrument and start playing. More often than not, the other follows suit.” That was basically how El Malpais started. Buck thought it would be cool for Jude to play her flute through a delay pedal. They tried it, liked what they heard, and then brought Robert along for the ride.
Jude is also currently working on The Astor Piazzolla History of the Tango for Flute and Classical Guitar, which is transcribed for Marimba. She has plans to debut it in the fall to a non-classical audience. According to Jude, “The Piazzolla Tango is sultry, sexy, fun, free-spirited, and tells a story within its notes. And is very entertaining to watch.” It also seems to be one more piece to fit right into the lives of she and Buck. Their home, which they call Amity Ranch, is the site of band practice for El Malpais and other projects. It’s fully equipped with an array of instruments beyond guitars, bass, and Jude’s flute … they even have two church organs!
El Malpais seems to be a natural outgrowth of The Luciferian Agenda, which Buck and Robert work on together (with a few others). Jude calls them her favorite act in Charlotte right now, so it would almost be unreasonable not to bring together the rich musical talent of these three players. It also seems to stimulate the creativity and wanderlust of the couple at its center. Buck and Jude have a trip planned for South Africa next year and also enjoy regular road and camping trips with their dogs, Lemmy and Gummy. They even label a lot of their Instagram pictures as #packmentality. “Life is pretty cool” is Jude’s succinct way of summing up the music, the travel and life in general with her partner, Buck.
• The EL MALPAIS debut show is at Snug Harbor on Wednesday, July 27th with Patabamba and Don Telling’s Island Mysteries.
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