Skip to main content

Instrumental Review: Bob Ardern-Craftsman

Release Date:March 2014
Label: Independent

Bob Ardern is a guitar master whose music reaches across many genres. If you listen, you can hear a sampling of roots music with a dash of Celtic, Jazz and Americana thrown in for good measure. His unique sound arose from English folk music and the finger style guitar playing has stayed with him. In Craftsman we see a lot of old style instrumentation blended with the best of modern technology. Guest musicians include Alyssa Wright (cello), Don Bray (engineer), Dave Findlay and Kev Corbett (percussion, bass). The vast arrays of instruments used are: guitar, cello, trumpet, Glockenspiel, bodhran, pipe organ, Celesta, Spider Capo, Dragon’s Breath, bells, Synth pad, percussion and bass. The album features a special bonus track of “Paso Doble Solo Guitar” that is sure to whet any Classical guitar aficionado’s appetite.


“Tiddlywinks” is the opening track for the album and features Kev on percussion and Dave on the Hi Hat. It is a merry little tune, filled with elements of acoustic guitar that bumps along happily to a different sort of beat. The piece makes me think of walking along a path with butterflies popping along on a spring afternoon. Happiness and joyful play are the central feelings here. The music is festive and leads you into the open air of springtime.

“Back to Basics” Percussion, bass, piano and Dragon’s Breath synth pad are featured on this fun little composition. Playful, it is running on the beach and kicking sand into the air. It is splashing through small waves as they rush upon the shore. Finding joy in the simple things, remembering the happiness of discovery-of the realization that the best things in life are at times unexpected. Rattles of percussion intertwine with acoustic guitar and bass to create an evocative piece filled with emotion and awakening.

“Keep It Simple” begins with elegant guitar work that twists and winds its way along a textured path of artful instrumentation and composition. The melodies that flow from this piece are restful and if you close your eyes, you can see the colors burst inside of your imagination. If this song were a drink, it would be a velvety white chocolate mocha going down to warm your soul. Every finger movement is captured in minute detail, allowing the listener to fall into the music and just be.

“Paso Doble Solo Guitar” is the bonus track on the album. Deliberate and fluid, the fingering of this piece is a landscape of melody with an acoustic guitar gone solo. Whereas the original piece had the synth pad, bass, percussion and trumpet, this piece is solely guitar. You know the saying, less is more? I can’t think of a better example. (I loved the first version too, but this one was wonderful.) The pure sound churning out with every pluck and strum is like manna from Heaven. This track is pure bliss for the acoustic lover’s soul. 

Bob Ardern’s classic finger picking guitar style is epic. This Canadian artist has gathered some of the best guest musicians and producers together to craft an album worthy of spending time with. Seven capos and six strings brings us twelve tracks of instrumental guitar with flavors of Jazz, roots music, Americana, Classical and a bit of Celtic to mix things up a bit. Craftsman was exactly what the name of the album suggests. Each track was wrought with skill and intent to bring out the best of each instrument and artist performing. You won’t want to miss this one. Bob Ardern has made my must listen list and I look forward to his next album. 

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Tiddlywinks, Back to Basics, Keep It Simple, Paso Doble Solo Guitar

Dana Wright

March 22, 2014

Review Provided By Write a Music Review

Tracks:
01.Tiddlywinks
02.Pipe Dream
03.Capo Breton Lullaby
04.Schrödinger's Cat
05.Keep It Simple
06.Nova Scotia New Age Blues
07.Back To Basics
08.Bellringers
09.Still Waiting
10.Winding Down
11.Paso Doble
12.Paso Doble Solo Guitar



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…

New Biography on The Cars Singer/Bassist Benjamin Orr by Vermont Writer Joe Milliken to be Published November 2018!

Bellows Falls, VT – Veteran music journalist Joe Milliken recently announced a publishing deal with the Lanham, Maryland-based publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers to produce his first book, a biography about the late Benjamin Orr. Orr was the co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling rock band The Cars. Titled Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, a release date is set for November 15, 2018.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski (aka “Benny Eleven Letters”) and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Orr was, prior to becoming a world-famous rock star with The Cars, a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show Upbeat.

A few years later Ben met his musical partner and …