Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Pelt, 'Diglossia'

Diglossia is a split dialect in a single community — code-switching between high and low language. The decades-spanning Pelt has always been instrumental, yet in its pursuit of cosmic ecstasy through various folk music forms, achieves a musical diglossia. (Pelt's members also make up the like-minded Black Twig Pickers and Spiral Joy Band.) The 21-minute opening track from Reticence / Resistance, Pelt's first album in nine years since the Jack Rose tribute Effigy, seeks enlightenment through Patrick Best's hypnotically frenzied piano, Mikel Dimmick's droning harmonium and Nathan Bowles' bowed banjo and delicately ornate percussion (heard mostly at the track's denouement). Mike Gangloff's plunging fiddle is the buoy bobbing in and out of these choppy waters, like hillbilly drone maestro Henry Flynt jamming to a transcendent Alice Coltrane improvisation. It's a thrilling piece of music that stays in one place, yet brightens every corner.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Listen to the Viking's Choice playlist, subscribe to the newsletter.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.