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Jimmy Ryan

The Healing Guitar

Review by Gary Hill

This new album is intriguing. Based on the cover and title you might expect acoustic guitar solos, but that's not true. These are full instrumental arrangements. They are all on the mellower, melodic proggy side of the equation. The disc includes four shorter tracks and one epic-length, multi-part track.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Walden
While the guitar is clearly at the center of this piece, we get a full proggy arrangement. The electric guitar work over the top is very classy, but the whole piece has such great style in its instrumental ways.
Twilight
There is a slower, dreamy, quality to this. Yet it still has every bit as much magic as the rest of the music here. There are some cool rock progressions and moods on this number.
Alphaville
While there isn't a big change here, this is another solid proggy instrumental piece with an emphasis on the guitar.
Equinox
There is a bit of Americana built into this instrumental number. It's perhaps less proggy than some of the others here.
The Healing Guitar in Nature Suite
As you might guess, the sounds of nature lead off this nearly half-hour epic piece. Mellow, slow moving proggy instrumental work rises up amidst that backdrop, and the two carry forward in tandem. That first movement ends around the four-and-a-half-minute mark. The nature sounds remain, and new musical concepts emerge from there. This is more slow moving guitar-based progressive music. Another movement takes over further down the road, an alternate vision of the familiar concepts. It reminds me a little of Pink Floyd somehow. The piece continues with new movement bringing new concepts all within the same basic premise.
 
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