Colma (album)

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Colma, Buckethead album (cover art).jpg
Studio album by Buckethead
Released March 24, 1998
Genre Ambient, experimental rock
Length 54:27
Label CyberOctave, Higher Octave Music, Virgin, EMI
Producer Buckethead, Extrakd and Bill Laswell
Buckethead chronology
The Day of the Robot
Monsters and Robots
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [1]

Colma is the fourth studio album by guitarist Buckethead. It was released on March 24, 1998, on CyberOctave records. The album was recorded for Buckethead's mother, who at the time was sick with colon cancer, and he wanted to make an album which she would enjoy listening to while recovering.[2]

The title of the album makes reference to the small town of Colma near San Francisco, California, where the dead population outnumber the living by thousands to one.[3]

Berklee College of Music alumnus Teri Untalan appeared as a guest musician on two tracks of the album. In a 2009 interview, she recalled Buckethead as being "an odd one, an elusive character."[4]

Colma is listed in the German National Library's catalog.[5]


In contrast to Buckethead's other albums, Colma is an acoustic album.[6] Most of the tracks are composed on acoustic guitar. Additionally, Colma mostly contains simple bass guitar, lead guitar, and drum playing parts.[7] James Lien of CMJ New Music Monthly writes that Colma's melodies are "geometric and mathematical-sounding, almost like Bach or modern classical music."[7] Andy Gill of The Independent describes the mood of the album as "reflective" saying, "[Buckethead uses] the dry, neutral tone favoured by jazz guitarists on a series of discreet instrumentals."[8]

Furthermore, Gill describes the tracks "Ghost" and "Hills of Eternity" as being "ruminative, sluggish pieces sprinkled with limpid droplets of guitar."[8] He also thought the title-track, "Colma", closed the album "like the twinkle of a long-dead star."[8] Reviewer Jeff Clutterbuck of The Daily Vault considers "Watching the Boats With My Dad" to be an authentic, emotional track writing that "[It] is so wistful and flows so gently, you have to believe it was inspired by a real moment."[9] On the other hand, "Big Sur Moon" offers a change of style in guitar playing showcasing Buckethead's consistent quick rhythmic ability on acoustic guitar.[9]

"Big Sur Moon", named after the region of Big Sur in California, is played solely on an acoustic guitar with a delay pedal effect. While being a member of Guns N' Roses from 2000 to 2004, Buckethead included the song to the band's setlist as part of his solo.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Buckethead.

2."For Mom"5:10
3."Ghost (Part 1)"5:29
4."Hills of Eternity"5:07
5."Big Sur Moon"1:13
7."Wishing Well"4:03
8."Lone Sal Bug"5:32
11."Watching the Boats with My Dad"5:07
12."Ghost (Part 2)"2:31
Total length:54:27


  • The song "Hills of Eternity" is named after the cemetery "Hills of Eternity" where Wyatt Earp is buried.
  • The song "Wishing Well" is identical to the Pieces song "Danyel", but excludes Buckethead's vocals.


  • Recorded and mixed by Xtrack at Embalming Plant, Oakland, CA.
  • Track 6 recorded and mixed by Robert Musso at Orange Music, West Orange, New Jersey.
  • Produced by Buckethead and Xtrack. Track 6 produced by Bill Laswell and Buckethead.


  1. ^ Anderson, Rick. Colma at AllMusic. Retrieved 9 September 2006.
  2. ^ "CityPaper on Buckethead". Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  3. ^ "Colma Jobs (CA)". Simply Hired. Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  4. ^ "From Berklee to Buckethead: The long strange trip of Teri Untalan, Outlook, January 2009". Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  5. ^ "''Colma'', Deutsches Musikarchiv". Retrieved 2011-11-10. 
  6. ^ Buckethead's New Album Due In June. CMJ New Music Report. 1999-03-01. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  7. ^ a b Lien, James (May 1998). Buckethead: Colma. CMJ New Music Monthly. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  8. ^ a b c Gill, Andy (1998-05-22). "Music: Andy Gill's album round-up". The Independent. Retrieved 2010-12-20. 
  9. ^ a b Clutterbuck, Jeff (2007-05-31). "Colma Buckethead". The Daily Vault. Retrieved 2010-12-20.