03. April 2009 · Comments Off on Review? Well, sort of … · Categories: Ramble, Reviews

People who read this know I don’t like to write reviews. I’m not a great writer (duh!), and I’m not sure it’s a wise thing for me to do in any case. I also fear being seen as an idiot.

Oops. Too late for that, eh?

BUT … I’ve been sent a CD and have agreed to write about it. So I will. Soon. Hmmm. Maybe now …?

What is it, you might ask? Well, it’s Journey to the New World. Sharon Isbin is the guitarist. She actually played with San Jose Symphony (RIP) back in the late 90’s, shortly before we crashed and burned. I can’t recall what she played … I’m guessing it wasn’t the Rodrigo or I would have that in my head. How lame is it that 1) I can’t remember things like this and 2) I didn’t save a single program? Sigh.

Anyway, I’ve been playing the CD on my drives to and from Santa Cruz, but does that really count? I get road noise along with the music. Does a write up after listening that way count? Still, I’m enjoying it. It’s a mix of the old (Dowland … you know, that guy that Sting decided to latch on to) to the less old. It also includes performers Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor (he performed with Symphony Silicon Valley a while back). There are songs (yes, I do mean songs) that I recognize from my younger days, like Where Have All the Flowers Gone? and House of the Rising Sun. I suppose it’s a bit of a “cross over” album. Whatever. I really don’t care what musician does what as long as it’s done well. And I think she does this well. I really like the CD, and I’m impressed with the recording’s clarity. Yeah, even in my car. 🙂

Oh, and Wayfaring Stranger just hits me. So there you go.

I know nothing about guitar. Really. But she does something in certain spots that produces these incredibly beautiful bell-like tones. And everything sounds so … hmmm, how to describe it? … “clean” but also musical. (Sometimes “clean” can be boring.)

Gee, watching Ms. Isbin and Mr. O’Connor play and really swingin’ it they aren’t grinning. We classical folk often get told that we need to smile more. Hmmm. Could it be that even this fun, swingin’ stuff is hard work? I wonder! (I’m confused, though. The video says it’s from a live performance, but they show the two performers in different clothing, depending upon the camera. Surely this must be from two sessions?! It’s really difficult to change clothes while playing an instrument. I’m fairly sure of this.)

Anyway, I’m giving the CD four crows*. I’ve listened to it at least three times now, and I’m not weary of it. That’s always a good sign.

*No double reed means you just can’t get five crows. So sorry. 😉

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