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New Age Instrumental Review: Matt Marshak-Year's End

Review by Val Vaccaro for Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck 
http://www.newagemusicreviews.net/

Release Date: December 12, 2016
Independent Label:  Nuance Music Group
Website

If you find yourself waxing sentimental and in self-reflection at the end of the year, and seek solace in the comfort of soothing music, you’re not the only one.

Matt Marshak’s Year’s End CD is a solo acoustic guitar New Age album with 14 new original songs inspired by his philosophical perspective on life and the change of seasons.  Marshak’s Year’s End CD offers beautiful, relaxing, instrumental acoustic guitar melodies with the healing power to lift your spirits at any time of year - to provide refuge from a hectic holiday season, or simple solace from the busy demands and ordeals of everyday life.

As proof of the restorative nature of Marshak’s Year’s End music, it has recently been licensed to Healing Healthcare Systems’ C.A.R.E. music channel to hospitals across America for relaxation, healing, and recovery of patients and their families and to provide a pleasant atmosphere for hospital staff.   That is a good example of ‘music therapy’ for the mind, body and soul.  Marshak’s Year’s End CD is also on the Top 100 Radio Airplay chart for Zonemusicreporter.com (formerly NewAgeReporter.com).

During a recent snowy winter evening in the New York, Marshak said (on his Facebook “Live” video to friends and fans from around world), “This time of year I get sentimental, more introspective. There’s something about the wintry weather and (playing) acoustic guitar that makes me more creative…the writing process often starts for me on the acoustic guitar.”

According to Marshak, “the introspective music on Year’s End is a big contrast from what I’ve done (before).”  Marshak’s Year’s End CD can appeal to both New Age listeners, and to smooth jazz fans alike.   Since 2003, Matt Marshak has recorded 9 smooth jazz instrumental CDs, with his music topping Billboard and other jazz charts. Marshak performs at jazz venues and music festivals in the U.S. and around the world.

On the Year’s End album, Matt Marshak skillfully plays two acoustic guitars- a Larrivee Parlor P-05 guitar and a Taylor S12 grand concert guitar - sometimes sounding like an Indian sitar.  Marshak draws upon numerous sources of inspiration for this CD. The pretty instrumental melodies on Marshak’sYear’s End CD are easy-to-listen-to tunes featuring an eclectic mix of influences from new age, pop, country, jazz, folk, medieval, and classical music, reminiscent (without the vocals) of the genre-bending music of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, acoustic guitar riffs from Led Zeppelin, the warm sounds of James Taylor, and a variety of movie soundtracks.  Marshak recently said after playing his “Thanksgiving Day” song that: “I’ve always been a big fan of James Taylor… he was a big influence on me… his chords, his movements (on songs) like “Carolina on My Mind.”

The music on Matt Marshak’s Year’s End album also has some melodic elements similar to other New Age music such as Jim Brickman’s Sooth CDs, but without vocals, nature sounds, or a typical new age production.  The acoustic guitar songs on Marshak’s Year’s End CD are self-sufficient – they are aural soundscapes which paint their own poetic pictures.

Listeners may also want to check out videos of songs from Year’s End on YouTube. For example, there is a video is of Matt Marshak’s “Baby’s First Snowfall” with some nice photos posted by The SmoothJazzLoft. Another video features Matt Marshak playing acoustic guitar on the song “Rest My Child” - Matt Marshak (Live).

Overall, Marshak’s Year’s End CD can gracefully bring the gift of calm, with its aural soundscapes to enhance your life for any time of year.  Matt Marshak’s Year’s End CD is available on various websites including CDBaby.com.

5/5 Stars

CD Review by Val Vaccaro

December 17, 2017

 

Tracks:
01. Peace and Joy
02. Thanksgiving Day        

03. Walk in the Forest        
04. Great People       
05. Winter's Day        
06. The Light of Spring     
07. Leave Your Worries       
08. Deep Within     
09. Rest My Child       
10. This Old Barn        
11. Echo       
12. Harvest Song    
 14. Baby's First Snowfall       

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