November 2, 2020: "This Week in Fingerstyle!"


November 2, 2020

It is November and the world is still mostly in lockdown and a pandemic that has shattered or constrained untold numbers of lives. Through all of this, musicians have been hit some of the hardest with their relied-upon gig income having vanished and their lives and finances stressed to the limit. Musicians have rolled with the punches and tried to reinvent themselves into streaming concerts, recording at home, lessons and concerts through Zoom and Facebook and Instagram. Succinctly, it's been tough to say the least! I admire the toughness, the resiliency, the generosity, the love and the caring shown by the musical world during this difficult time in history. Better days ahead!

So, its time for me to "raise the chatter" on the small segment of the musical world that I peek into every day: the diverse and incredible world of "fingerstyle guitar!" So much good fingerstyle guitar music is being produced these days by incredible and talented musicians, and I'm here to put a smile on their faces every Monday morning!

Daryl Shawn, an incredibly talented fingerstyle artist himself, makes my job easy as he sorts through all the new releases each week and chooses a new "top ten" featuring a representative current best in the world of fingerstyle and adds the new top ten to "The most exciting playlist on Spotify" every Monday morning! "This Week in Fingerstyle" curated by Daryl Shawn is where you'll find the absolute best that true "Indie" has to offer in the world of fingerstyle! Daryl does all the selecting of the tunes, I just make a few comments. Put your headphones on or AirPods in and disappear into these wonderful sounds as we check out what gems Daryl found for us this week! "This Week" now has over 500 "Followers" enjoying this weekly treat!

First up this week is "Tamazula" by Ilya, Adriana Lycette, who creates a lush and intricate story with Tamazula! Starting softly with just a few repeating notes, she opens up with the start of a melody that has Celtic roots that run deep! Adding multiple layers, a beautiful story is told as only music can do. There is literally nothing lacking in this beautiful piece. I'm looking forward to the EP scheduled for 2021!

Next up is the prolific Michelle Qureshi whose talent is best described as a well that penetrates to the center of the earth! Whether she is delighting us with ambient, folk, new age, or sounds inspired from diverse world musical genres, she nails it with every piece. "With Courage", from her newest album "Within", mastered by the incomparable Tom Eaton of Imaginary Road Studios", pierces you to the core from the very first note! Resonating with your very being it is as though Michelle somehow taps directly into your heart and you can feel an "echo" to your very core. To pull this off in just 1:13 is astounding and fascinating. Give this whole album a listen at your earliest chance: if not already, you will become a Michelle Qureshi fan instantaneously!

"The Old Room (Live)" by Mike Dawes is like stepping into an ethereal, astral plane created out of nothingness by the uniquely talented hands and heart of one of today's most riveting entertainers. At over 5 minutes in length Mike allows us to just drift along with him into a world that we did not know existed. And it's all over so quickly! Not for a second will you find yourself waiting for the next piece. For fans of modern fingerstyle technique, and aspiring "fingerstyle artists" this is the guy to immerse yourself in! Simply one of today's best!

"Pizza , Mandolino e Fingerstyle" by Guiseppe Sessa is a delightful, fun little piece that is exactly what it claims to be! Made my Monday morning a little happier & zippier! And now I'm ready for some pizza, mandolins & some Chianti!

And straight back to the serious, there is no fooling around when it comes to Ulli Boegershausen & Jens Kommnick! Always creating music of exquisite perfection and depth! "Abspann" is indeed a "final credits" piece that amazes with its virtuosity! There is a nice melody, but the sheer virtuosity of Ulli & Jens is overwhelming. This piece dances between a little dark and blazing light. Just wonderful from the first to the last note! Bravo maestros!

And not to be "outdone", Andrew York displays his technical virtuosity and brilliance with "Ind'd" (not sure what "Ind'd" means but the piece is the modern day equivalent of a Francisco Tárrega masterpiece). Andrew has graced us with more new masterpieces of technical brilliance in the last few years than anyone I can think of at the moment. Just a wonderful example of what the guitar can do in the hands of a master with over 50 years experience and a reputation as one of the world's best. I can see this one becoming a standard in pedagogy books as a "masterclass" piece for decades to come!

"Beirut" by world-fusion guitarist extraordinaire, Mathew Joseph & world class pianist, Angel Ruediger, is stunningly beautiful and calming! There is a peace that exudes from this one like a gentle ripple across a crystal clear pond! They nailed it!

And "Anew" by RealizerMatt C. White's other moniker, is true to the folky, peaceful, calming nature of Realizer! Matt's talent in this genre is superb and anyone wanting to get that modern-day folky feeling with just a bit of sophistication tempered with a little poignancy need look no further than "Realizer's" work! Matt is simply brilliant!

"Green Leaves" by HomeGrown Ed is beautiful and reminiscent of the 70's transitional work between folk and pop/country: think John Denver, Jim Croce, James Taylor kind of pickin'. Beautiful work reminiscent of a time that produced some of our most iconic and favorite music! Well done!

And finally, "Patina" by August Flendahl hits that sweet, romantic, plaintive spot that leaves you longing and weak in the knees! Just beautiful music by one of today's most prolific artists who knows how to make every piece intense and captivating and has so much talent that one or even two identities/monikers are not enough to provide a full platform for his brilliance! Beautiful Tommy Berre, as always!

And don't stop there! Remember that all the past selections follow the new top ten starting with one of my favorite Agustin Amigo pieces: "When The Fairy Cries"! So much beautiful music on this list, it is rather amazing and it grows ten new pieces each week!

Daryl Shawn, thank you again for making my Monday mornings a very special and exciting part of every week! And for highlighting the talents of these brilliant artists who work and struggle so hard just to share their beautiful music with the world!

And that's it for another "This Week in Fingerstyle" by Daryl Shawn who every week puts together "the most exciting playlist on Spotify"!

Remember to "Follow/Heart/Like" the playlist that Daryl Shawn so painstakingly creates every week and "Follow/Heart/Like" the artists that give you their all each week!

Join us every week for "This Week in Fingerstyle" on Spotify!


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