Woodsongs (Newland Music, 2006)
Woodsongs is a collection of evocative instrumental acoustic guitar pieces by reputable American guitarists as well as newcomers. The compilation follows the footsteps of the highly successful acoustic guitar compilations released by Windham Hill in the 1990s. This is not surprising as Windham Hill’s founder Will Ackerman is involved in the project as producer of some of the tracks. Also
participating are former Windham Hill artists such as virtuoso bassist Michael Manring and guitarist Alex
The participating guitarists play new acoustic instrumental music that is highly melodic, and sometimes melancholic, crossing the boundaries between classical music, American folk and even jazz.
Pieces that stand out are “After the Sunrise” by Turtle Writing, where layers of acoustic guitars by Nick Cosimano are combined with Michael Manring’s soloing bass and Eugene Friesen’s cello; Quintana Roo by Preston Reed, using slap guitar techniques; the delightful and dreamy e-bow piece “Thank You” by Adam Werner; David Cullen’s Brazilian inspired “Country Carnivale”; and masterful Alex de Grassi on “Hand Signals”.
The album is American-centric and excludes many excellent international performers. Still, it is a great opportunity to sample the new acoustic guitar scene in the United States.
For those who miss the Windham Hill sound, this is a great opportunity to capture the magic of the acoustic guitar.
For more information go to: www.newlandmusic.com
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.