The Daily Freeman’s David Malachowski:

“The guitar is everywhere you look — in rock, jazz, blues, country and folk groups — and, as always, the preferred choice of accompaniment of singer-songwriters. But what folks forget is that the guitar can function beautifully on its own (without a vocalist), as it provides the means to play melody, chords and bass lines.

“Kinloch Nelson can do just that, he is an acoustic solo finger-tyle guitarist from the city of Rochester, N.Y., who has been performing for more than 40 years. This record is formed around a guitar, one with a history. The Petros Guitar Company acquired the redwood logs from a Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel made in the 1880s. The guitar that was made from them then inspired the recording of these songs to show it off.

“First up is Afterthoughts, a gorgeous, sweeping fingerpicking excursion that has a percussive attack that juxtaposes the sweet melody. The classic Tennessee Waltz holds an amazingly thick warm tone on the lower register, with beautiful voicings and heavenly harmonics (bell tones made by gently touching the strings) that float above the droning low notes to great effect.

“The warm and luxurious A Rose In Spanish Harlem has a soft touch and reveals Nelson’s sentimental side. An impressive reading of John Fahey’s Sunflower River Blues is quite stunning. Its abundance of space gives it a haunting Celtic feel. The medley Cast Your Fate To The Wind/Circle Game is a highlight, especially the moving Circle Game.

Deep and rich low tones power Bury Me Not On the Lone Prairie. while Stephen Foster’s Oh! Susanna is simply breathtaking. Nelson closes with the stunning ride through Jimmy Webb’s Wichita Lineman. which is given a weighty, majestic touch.

“Soothing, peaceful and healing, Nelson’s guitar  — no matter what wood it’s made of — speaks to the heart.”

David Malachowski is a guitarist, producer and freelance journalist living in the Hudson Valley.

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