Album Review | Kyle Fosburgh – The Traveller’s Journey
Released on the 1st November was the American steel string guitarist Kyle Fosburgh’s second solo guitar album, The Traveller’s Journey. This is a rare type of album in that it is in the tradition of the solo instrument genre. It is almost like the modern day version of Bach’s Partitas or Paganini’s Caprices but following in the footsteps of John Fahey or the most excellent Leo Kottke. It is a collection of 12 pieces of hauntingly soothing acoustic guitar music played on the twelve and six string guitars. A piece of artwork at heart, these are pieces of music that are intended to conjure up images in the mind of one’s quest for truth in life and the obstacles that life can give you along the way. Inspiring? Let’s have a listen…
This is a deep album, it requires a few listens and a bit of maturing in the mind before you can open yourself up to the conceptual possibilities on offer here. These days musical releases can be kind of bite size and easy to digest so it is wonderful to come across a release of such creativity and tradition. After a few listens the songs mature in your mind and you notice the little nuances and melodic patterns below the surface. You then realise that this is much bigger than you thought. The tones audible on the top are serving to accentuate the rhythm and melody that is more felt than heard. Being a guitarist myself I suppose I am more likely to appreciate just simply the sounds the strings make and the different picking patterns used but I think that the music has a timeless beauty to it that anyone, given the right state of mind wouldn’t fail to appreciate.
Stand out moments include the wonderful chord play and major – minor switching on The Redwoods, the wonderful mandolin like effect on the opening track Fandango, and the rather groovy slide action on Peddler. Not to mention the excellent tonal colouring of Every Child Born. This cd explores the guitar, but the only critical thing I can say about it is that I don’t know that it expands it. Artists such as Andy Mckee are broadening the spectrum of sounds that one may produce with the acoustic guitar and I feel that this release could benefit from perhaps being a touch more modern in the sense that it could captivate its listeners much quicker. Because it is a beautiful collection of recordings and these releases are so few and far between that it needs to be appreciated by all. Melodic, conceptual, percussive, gorgeously American and placidly epic, this needs checking out.
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