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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Paul Bronson


Review by Gary Hill

This CD is a solo guitar EP from a musician from my local area. Every piece here was recorded in one take, with no overdubs and just one guitar. That's impressive in and of itself. The thing is, the guitar work is even more impressive than that. If you are a fan of acoustic guitar work, you really need to check this out. It's exceptional. More importantly for the more casual listener, it's entertaining, too.

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Track by Track Review
Rising up a bit gradually, this is intricate and very beautiful. There is a firm basis at the back of it, but some of the guitar lines are so delicate. It's all played masterfully and really conveys a certain beauty and almost scenic quality. The cut really seems like a journey from a point of serenity to a busier kind of landscape.

The title track is over six minutes long, making it the longest thing here. It starts in a sedate kind of place. Yet the guitar is creating intricate lines of sound within that, making itself busy. This cut feels very much like an epic journey, covering a lot of territory. There are classical elements at play some of the time. It almost reaches into some jazz stylings at other points.  Some short jaunts into harmonics are a nice touch. This might be what some would call "just a guitar solo," but this is so varied and potent that I'd challenge anyone to say that with a straight face.

Petite Etude (Rik Emmett)
A shorter piece, the classical elements are all over this. This number was written by Rik Emmett (hence the parenthetical).
Bittersweet Sunset
More delicate and intricate guitar work creates this sonic tapestry. It's another extensive one, running close to six minutes. This might have some of the most amazing guitar work of the whole disc, really. It has a great contrast between mellower and louder passages, too.
There is something a bit more restful about this piece. It's full of intricate and quite pretty guitar work. There is quite a range here, too. Yet, there also seems to be a sense of home to it, and being at peace.
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