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I Am The Resurrection

Honoring the 40th anniversary of his signing with Vanguard Records and the fifth anniversary of his passing on February 21, 2001, Vanguard is reissuing the 1968 John Fahey classic, The Yellow Princess as well as feting him on a new 13 track various artists tribute to the late great guitar hero entitled I Am The Resurrection: A Tribute To John Fahey. Fahey’s legendary instrumental sound is given a solid send off by a number of today’s new artists including Fruit Bats, Calexico, Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth), Grandaddy, Howie Gelb, producer M. Ward and more. In the words of album co-producer Stephen Brower, “As relatively obscure as he was, John Fahey’s unmistakable stamp is all over the current strains of rock and folk music.” In the hands of these gifted artists, Fahey’s near religious, acoustic-based sound is given an elegant, modern twist on I Am The Resurrection: A Tribute To John Fahey.



The Best Kept Secret

Jerry Douglas kicks his dobro into overdrive on his tenth solo album and first for Koch Records, The Best Kept Secret. Although he’s played as a session man on over 1500 albums he’s truly at his finest here laying down some astounding finger board work on Dobro, Resophonic guitar, Fender Tele and Hamos lap steel guitars. Singer Alison Krauss lends her vocal skills on a cut, but overall the primarily instrumental eleven track CD rolls a select blend of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and even Celtic sounds. Several tracks here, including the lead off track “She Makes Me Want To Sing”—with fellow slide-master Derek Trucks—kick up a rockin’ bluegrass / instrumental rock sound that’s quite effective. Other artists guesting on The Best Kept Secret include Creedence front man John Fogerty—adding vocals on “Swing Blues No. 1”—banjo ace Béla Fleck and avant guitarist Bill Frisell. Demonstrating his desire to break out of the straight country bluegrass mold, Douglas also offers a haunting reading of the vintage Weather Report number "A Remark You Made." “This record ended up being a surprise to me,” states Douglas, “and it wasn't until I was halfway through it that I realized it was gonna be different. For a minute, I worried about what the bluegrass people would think and what the country people would think, but I know better than to think too much about that stuff.”



Blue Marble

Renowned for their rockin’ guitar based instrumental approach, guitarists Jimmy Ryan, brother Johnny Ryan, Bill Kopecky and drummer Johnny Mrozek have made some great music together as The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers over the past few years and they reach a new zenith with their 2005 CD Blue Marble. Kicking off with the barn-burning Middle Eastern tinged “Baghdad,” the Ryan brothers proceed to draw the focus on their rocking, dueling guitar extrapolations while Kopecky on bass and Mrozek’s heavy duty drum beat drives the proceedings to further sonic heights. With their dueling electric lead guitar sound, some have compared the Ryan Brothers to an instrumental version of Wishbone Ash, but with their highly original, innovative and melodic approach to instrumental guitar rock, The Flyin’ Ryan Brothers go boldly where few instro rockers dare to tread.


Yesterday Today
(Wave Guide)

A master guitarist is one who can clearly combine melody, technique and atmosphere. All three of those qualities can be found in the music of acoustic guitarist Tim Pitts. Earlier Pitts classics—an outstanding 2001 CD Castle Ghosts and his 2003 release, Shadow Of An Owl—feature a wide range of superbly recorded instrumental guitar-based tracks. Produced, performed and recorded by Pitts, both CDs showcase unbeatable guitar chops and a compositional knack. In 2005, Tim released his latest effort—a 15 track acoustic guitar CD tribute to guitar heroes, The Beatles entitled Yesterday Today: An Instrumental Tribute To The Beatles. Released on his own Wave Guide label, Yesterday Today proves beyond a doubt that these timeless Beatles melodies are eternal. One of the keys to the Pitts guitar touch is his ability to layer guitars and fittingly, this Beatles tribute blends his signature acoustic guitar sound with some well chosen electric guitar nuances. Next up from the Kentucky-based Pitts is a fourth CD featuring intense electric guitar soloing over lush acoustic guitar parts, while shining a light on his jazz and shred influences.


Cool Train: Tolonen Plays Coltrane!

Having recorded over 40 classic jazz and rock records in Sweden and his native Finland, guitarist Jukka Tolonen is no stranger to rock and jazz aficionados in Northern Europe. As acclaimed as he is for writing some of the most memorable music of all the great ‘Nordic’ guitarists—including Janne Schaffer and Terje Rypdal— Tolonen pays homage here to his big John Coltrane influence on the 2005 CD release of Tolonen Plays Coltrane! If ever there was a guitarist capable of covering the harmonic intricacies and nuances of Coltrane’s remarkable jazz edge, it’s Jukka Tolonen. Backed up by three gifted Finnish accompanists, Tolonen fuels his jazz foray with his famous, tasteful rock sensibilities all in all making Tolonen Plays Coltrane! a fine tribute to the brilliance of both Tolonen and Coltrane. /


Andreas Kapsalis Trio

In a class with top players before him—like Steve Tibbetts and Michael Hedges—guitarist Andreas Kapsalis works magic with his acoustic guitar. Backed by Darren Garvey (percussion, concertina, moog) and Jamie Gallagher (drums), Andreas covers a spectrum of musical moods that makes the most of his Greek heritage and his affinity for jazz, flamenco, Americana, Latin, and Mediterranean music. Suffering a left hand tendon injury when he apprenticed as a luthier early in his life, Kapsalis went on to experiment with a rare technique, eight-finger tapping, which does not require the use of a plectrum. One of the highlights of his live show includes a version of “Blue Rondo a la Turk”, which has also garnered praise from the song’s composer, Dave Brubeck. With fantastic cover art to match, the CD debut from Andreas Kapsalis Trio is a surreal excursion into a place where words are ineffectual and musical emotion and imagery rules. With Gallagher and Garvey keeping pace, Andreas weaves his web of musical wizardry, combining deft guitar precision with an expansive gamut of jaw-dropping musical tactics. Overall, Andreas is good bet for acoustic guitar fans who like their sounds challenging and way left of center.

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed in and 20th Century Guitar. Send to P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by Send to: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249