From the chicken farm to the stage

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Voodoo-blues, gypsy-rock, flamenco-punk -- that's the sound of the Eric McFadden and Wally Ingram duo, McFadden said.

McFadden, on guitar and vocals, and Ingram, on percussion, have worked as a duo for less than a year but have played together in the Stockholm Syndrome and on their own -- McFadden with his self-named trio and formerly of the P-Funk All-Stars, and Ingram formerly with David Lindley.

¤ Eric McFadden and Wally Ingram, with Eric Delaney opening ¤ 9 p.m. Saturday ¤ Levelz in Ski Time Square ¤ $5 before 10 p.m., $7 after ¤ 870-9090

Playing as a duo presents a challenge -- only two musicians are left to create a powerful wall of sound, McFadden said.

But he and Ingram enjoy that challenge, especially because it opens the door to free improvisation.

"It's really just the idea that you can go anywhere, that you can take it anywhere and not even worry who's following you there," McFadden said.

At Saturday's show, McFadden and Ingram will perform songs mostly from their new album, "Alektorophobia," which means fear of chickens.

The pair created the album during a few weeks of recording at a chicken farm turned recording studio in central California.

"It was awesome," McFadden said. Chickens strutted into and out of the studio at times.

He could live on a chicken farm again, he said, "until I went completely mad, of course."

The constant clucking and flurry of the chickens inspired several songs on the album, and one features several of the local chickens.

The album also features all sorts of guests, including Les Claypool, James Whiton, Pete Sears and Keb' Mo.

For those songs, the strategy was to get performers on tape quickly -- each was given no more than three takes, McFadden said.

That strategy keeps the sound raw and spontaneous.

"If you give people too much time to think of what they're doing, (you lose that) initial spontaneous energy," he said.

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