on 23 November 2001
This CD collects together a selection of some of the most original acoustic guitar based instrumentals from the late Michael Hedges. A great innovator he always made the guitar serve his musical ideas. In so doing he invented and developed new styles in both right and left hand techniques. This album shows his fusion of rock, folk, jazz and world music, not just a mixture of copied styles, but his own very personal musical explorations. He not only adapted musical idioms but also used a variety of guitar hybrids and special tunings to increase the dynamic range of the instrument. He could mix a percussive bass attack with strumming and a fingerpicked melody all at the same time. These recordings capture the incredibly clear sound of his guitars from the punchy rock bass to the delicate shimmering sound of the harp guitar with its resonating sympathetic strings. What you hear on this CD is REALLY the work of one man on one instrument making beautiful music. Sadly missed, but what a legacy!
on 30 January 2002
Possibly. This is perhaps one of the most carefully thought out compilation CDs I've ever come across. Every track is a standout, even the previously unreleased "Echoes" tracks at the end. It doesn't contain every single beautiful guitar solo by Michael Hedges, but then you would need a box set to do this man justice.
If you play the guitar, you'll know that 99.99% of all songs are played in a standard tuning - EADGBE. Not Michael Hedges - this would have been far too simple. But don't think that the art is drowned out by the technique, quite the reverse. Every tuning he used created its own atmosphere, its own resonance and its own unique sound. It allowed him to create music on the guitar that just didn't exist anywhere else, then or now some five years after he died tragically in a car accident.
The track "Aerial Boundaries" is a good example of how the combination of his tunings and special two handed picking/hammering style almost created a guitar orchestra sound - but it's just one man and his guitar in a single take. "Baal T'Shuvah" is another breathtaking song - words aren't enough to describe it's simple beauty.
Is this the only acoustic guitar CD you'll ever want to own? No,because once you hear this you'll want to hear more.
on 2 August 2003
This album is shattering - Imagine Leo Kottke at his very best .... then throw in Hendrix-like fireworks with string and fret-tapping .... then add the melodic fury of Tommy Emmanuel .... and then, just when you thought I was describing totally OTT music, add in the lilting beauty of Gordon Giltrap, John Renbourne and Bert Jansch. Finally add just more than a dash of Davy Graham's jazz style. That takes you about half way to imagining how fantastic this record is. If you love acoustic instrumental guitar, this is a MUST buy. Glorious.
on 3 November 2008
I first came upon the wonderous music and string conjuring of Michael Hedges way, waaaay back when vinyl still out sold CD's, sadly many of my vinyl favourites are now in need of replacement by CD...but I digress.
If you have heard anything by Michael Hedges (even just a few bars)then you will have an inkling of what to expect - and yet there is so much more - if you haven't then let's say - You are one lucky person - Why? - Because there is a whole new wonderful world of incredible music and musicianship awaiting you.
Michael Hedges doesn't play guitar - he allows his dreams to come alive via strings beneath his fingers - like no one before has EVER done!
The Beauty of the compositions, the Dexterity and Artistry of the man as a Musician and the Utter, Utter Grace of how he combines them will Lift Your Spirits and make you want to Play! - Oh! Yes, it will ! - you'll find yourself asking - "How On Earth Is He Doing That!?"......
Treat your Spirits to A Beautiful Sound - the sound of Michael Hedges.
Oh! and by the way if you enjoy Michael Hedges music & playing, then I recommend you go to Candyrat.com - and have a listen to: Craig D'Andrea, Andy McKee and Don Ross - who are now the barers of this very special flame! - and all of whom have cited Michael Hedges as a huge influence upon their music and playing style/s - And so I whole heartedly recommend what for me is:
'A New Breed Of Guitarist/s and Music for Acoustic Guitar'.
on 30 March 2011
This album is both beautiful and frustrating. It is beautiful because Michael Hedges was an extremely talented guy. The speed, accuracy and fluidity of his playing are a real joy to listen to. It is frustrating only because I have played the guitar for 37 years and am nowhere near his command of the instrument...I wish I could make it sound the way he did. There are many who have tried to emulate his style of playing ( particularly on youtube ) but most are poor imitations and one trick ponies. Turn the lights down low and hear the acoustic guitar being played like an orchestra. It really is beyond boundaries.
on 18 January 2010
Contemporary fingerstyle. I "discovered" Michael Hedges on a list of the world's top 100 guitarists (whatever that may mean!) I've never bought an all instrumental cd before and wondered whether it might be a bit boring for a non- expert like me, but it isn't. It's varied and so exciting. He gets such a variety of sounds out of his guitar(s).If I hadn't seen him doing some of these pieces on you-tube I really would have doubted that one man/one guitar could produce such a rich, full sound