I had originally titled this “CD Releases” and realized that it’s probably time to stop referencing “compact discs” – you know, those shiny round things in nice colorful plastic or cardboard packaging. I still buy them (and yes, bought a couple of these to support the artists), as I usually only have time to listen to music in the car (and my short 1 or 2 song commute to work doesn’t help much!). I also buy them for the technical, musical and artistic information and graphics, photos or other artwork that the artist painstakingly created (often at no small expense). More to the point, I (as listener) am always looking for a connection with the musician and some backstory on the music and instruments.
But obviously I’m part of a dying breed, and thus many of these releases come in bare bones sleeves with song titles and little else, and one wasn’t physically printed at all. (Don’t even get me started on how much I miss my old LPs!). The next post may well be titled “Harp Guitar Thumb Drive Favorites.”
Well, at least I get to call these “albums” – as they are all true collections (well-crafted “albums”) of songs. I much prefer that to “EPs” (you lazy bums!), Singles (OK, what else ya got?), or Videos (can’t play in my car, and seriously, stop cutting your heads off in the FOV!).
And so for those who may have missed any, I’m happy to catch up on this pile of recent releases going back a year (or more), with many brand new albums just out. Some of these are all-harp guitar CDs but all include small to large amounts of pleasant to killer harp guitar. Because all of these folks are friends to one degree or another, I’m not “reviewing” – suffice it to say that all have their merits (and have fans) and are worth checking out, however you choose to access (and support!) the music.
I’ve added all to the Harpguitars.net archival Music page, something that needs a serious librarian (besides me) or it’s going to be retired. If you want to attain fame and notoriety with this position, act now.
Looks like I have to go all the way back to 2014 to start catching up with Muriel Anderson’s double-CD (yes, with LED lighted cover) Nightlight Daylight, which included 2 new harp guitar solos and a re-mix of “Baker’s Dozen” with drums that she originally did for my Further Beyond Six Strings.
Continuing from 2014 to early 2017, in no particular order (since I’ve completely forgotten when they came out) are:
Light in the Wilderness from Musically Yours, a Christmas CD featuring the unusual combination of harp guitar, harp and cello (our HGG13 Gathering hosts Randall & Jayne Sprinkle and Dianne Cox).
Don Alder’s Armed and Dangerous CD includes just one HG tune, his original vocal “In a Minute” (but it does have the coolest mid-life crisis album cover ever!).
A 2015 release from Tim Berstch, Passages, is his second instrumental harp guitar album, played on a vintage Knutsen and old kontragitarre.
2016 saw two new CDs by the always prolific Stephen Bennett:
Tone Poet, with 14 brand new harp guitar compositions and arrangements, and Even More Beatles (his 3rd compilation of the Fab Four, in case you missed the title’s point), with 6 tunes on solo HG.
At HGG14 last October, Andy Wahlberg unveiled his latest all harp guitar instrumental CD String Theory, once again on his vintage Dyer.
Andy McKee released his first live album, which includes his HG original Into the Ocean, along with the first release of him playing Hedges’ “Because It’s There.”
Eleventh Hour, by Hora Once – a very different trio consisting of Adam Carney (on a new Woodley White harp guitar) with accordionist Mike Maddux and vocalist Ana Maria Barajas of Colombia. Their eclectic mix of tunes draws from a “vast pool of influences from North to South America…with influences of Tango, Brazilian Choro, and Andean folk music.” I’ve yet to obtain a CD, but saw some pre-CD videos some time ago.
John Doan has a new CD Into the Quiet which I’ve just heard a couple clips from.
In the historical music area, Oleg Timofeyev with John Schneiderman released their epic seven-disc box set of Russian Guitar music. Performed on historical guitars with 7 strings on the neck, some which feature open bass strings.
I just read about Ari van Vliet who recently completed a biography on heptachord (floating 7th D string) player Napoleon Coste, and also released a companion CD, premiering one of Coste’s key pieces on a Bernhard Kresse Lacote reproduction.
Back to modern times, Calum Graham released Tabula Rosa, his first CD with harp guitar (four tunes, including two with vocals).
Steppes by Adrian Bellue (which I haven’t been successful in obtaining a copy of) includes I believe one harp guitar tune.
Joe Conklin released his first instrumental guitar CD which includes 5 tunes played on his 21-string Sedgwick and 5 on an 18-string Emerald harp guitar.
Jazz guitarist Tony Barnard also has a new 21-string custom Sedgwick, on which he performs 15 new compositions and arrangements on his debut solo harp guitar CD. As he’s in the U.K., I have several copies in hand for any U.S. fans interested (not listed on my site). P.S: Friends of Tony will be glad to know that he is (as we speak) successfully recovering (even playing!) from aggressive prostate cancer surgery.
Decades away from having to worry about such things, Travis Bowman and Jamie Dupuis are two young virtuosos who include lots of harp guitar on their brand new CDs:
Launch contains several impressive pieces, and I lost count on how many HG solo compositions appear on Tonalism.
I met their Fret Monkey label mate Ali Deniz Kardelen at NAMM last month, who gave me his First Steps CD, which includes his own harp guitar debut. Only one tune (“Waltz”) but it’s impressive.
Sean Martin recently sent me to Amazon to listen to samples of his new all-harp guitar digital album, performed on his new Hewett harp guitar.
Which brings me up to the near future with the eminent (any second now) release of Alex Anderson’s all-harp guitar instrumental album Tree of Life.
I may have missed other releases over the last few years, so please remind me or send me a copy if so. You can track down previous releases I’ve mentioned in the various posts in the Players section of my Gregg’s Blogg archive.
Lots of good music on this list. We are very happy to be mentioned in the company of the masters!
Seeking the divine. Jason Carter released 10/09/2015. All but one track played on the harp guitar. If you want a copy, let me know. Best wishes .Sean.
Thanks, Sean – I added it to the Music page, thought I had blogged it awhile back.