Neither David Wilcox or Nance Pettit planned on creating an album called Out Beyond Ideas when they started reading sacred poetry. The accidental project began when a friend gave the couple a book of mystic poetry for Christmas. Soon, they -- being musicians -- decided to set the poems to music. As they continued this experiment, just for fun, the harmonies and arrangements worked themselves out, and before long, they were performing these songs for friends. Everyone liked the songs, but they all had one question: are the songs available on a CD? They weren't. Furthermore, a number of people began to volunteer to play on an album including Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann. As one might imagine, mystic poetry works well within a singer/songwriter format -- a natural fit. So while a musical-poem like "How Did the Rose Ever Open" might seem a bit esoteric (or old fashioned), it isn't all that far removed from the general contemplations that singer/songwriters are prone to. The real drawing power here, however, is the intertwined voices of Wilcox and Pettit. Their comfort with one another is evident and the merger of their voices also creates a lovely blend on Out Beyond Ideas. Singer/songwriter fans and lovers of esoteric poetry will enjoy this outing.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.