Congratulations to Joachim Csaikl, my friend from Payersbach, Austria, who has just released his first solo CD.  Joachim has a tune each on our Further Beyond Six Strings and Christmas Present.  It was rewarding to work with him on those projects and seeing his material develop.   He’s now in full singer-songwriter mode with Crossing Borders!

I received his debut CD last month and wanted to let readers know that it’ll be available on Feb. 22, 2014 on his new web site.

Nearly every piece is a single live recording, using his antique Reisinger harp guitar, on which he does his trademark interplay effect of bass-snare-melody-chords, and singing over it all.

Joachim has arranged several covers over the years; the CD includes Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Creed’s “Higher.”  The rest of the tunes are his own originals, with one sung in German and the rest in English (with his distinctive accent).

Two instrumental tunes (“River of Life” and “Michael’s Barking Boogie”) are played on his brand new harp guitar made by Robert Grieshofer.  One tune features his Lowden 6-string.

You can hear samples on his YouTube promo here.

Much to my surprise, my favorite tune was the closing song, a “band version” of the opening track harp guitar version.  Expertly arranged and produced, it features a rawer vocal, exquisitely crunchy electric guitar complete with full shredding (all Joachim), with friends on bass and drums.  It sounds like one of those contemporary songs that Hollywood blockbusters have playing over their closing credits (hey, I’ll pass it on if I run into any producers!).