November 9, 2020: "This Week in Fingerstyle!"


November 9, 2020

It is November and the world is still mostly in lockdown and a pandemic that has shattered or constrained untold numbers of lives. But some good news and hope are starting to peek through the gloom! 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 with streaming concerts, recording at home, lessons and concerts through Zoom, 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, it's 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 "Figure 8" by The String Revolution and man does this one have a driving beat to get you moving on a cold morning! At 5 minutes in length you can just sit back and be carried away by this delightful piece! What a great sound!

"Bemused" by Maneli Jamal is soft and intriguing like an intimate conversation filled mostly with longing looks at a table for two where the rest of the world disappears and you are totally mesmerized with the beauty of your companion. Beautiful!

"Gentle Echo of Home" by Alan Shoesmith is a "home & hearth" piece evoking images of wonderful quiet family gatherings and good times. Peaceful, positive and pastoral! Love this Alan!

"I Like The Motor Car" by Derek Gripper & Mike Block is riveting with the deep cello bass and wonderful guitar. I keep going back to this one just to stay in this lovely groove!

"Amazing Grace / What a Friend" is a blend of these two beloved songs from our communal western spiritual traditions. From christian background, I feel that these two songs have become somewhat universal in the emotion and feeling of hope and peace that they provide. I'm honored to have my rendition included here. 

"sketch #2" by Peter Xifaras is a stunning modern classical work that delights on so many levels, from the beautiful runs, harmony, execution and stellar quality of the recording. There is a harmonic space that only a nylon string guitar can fill and "sketch #2" completely saturates that space with this beautiful piece!

"The Bee (Instrumental Version)" by Curtis B. Scott & Derek Brookshire had me mesmerized for a full 5 repeats of this lovely slightly folky musical ballad filled with romance, longing and wonder! So reminiscent of some of the best instrumental tunes from the late 60's & early 70's it hearkens back to a time when long hair, flowers, robes and happy people congregated on the lawns enjoying the sunshine and music. Just delightful! Hoping for much more from Curtis and Derek along this same line!

"Lady Claire" by Bill Russell is a stunning piece executed with absolute perfection. This is a "Romeo & Juliet" on the balcony piece to be played at the moment you wish to totally capture someone's heart. It literally brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. Just bursting with emotion and love. It is truly beautiful! Thank you Bill!

"Take On Me" is the incredible & unique Casper Esmann's take on A-ha's classic tune. I do not know how Casper manages to consistently make his cover versions of classic songs better than the originals. With each cover that he tackles I am astounded and irresistibly drawn to the unique sound that Casper manages. There is an essence to the treble range that Casper can draw out like no other artist I know. Never harsh, just totally alluring & captivating like a siren call that draws me closer and closer to the flame. Combine that treble essence with his perfect rhythmic sense and unique interpretation and Casper has it all in every piece that he tackles. Can't say enough good things about this tremendous talent!

"November" by Jürg Kindle is another in this incomparable artist's long discography that displays his incredible range. Jürg often combines elements from so many genre's in one piece that his pieces are often like a masterclass in composition. Combining Spanish guitar, classical, and just a hint of bossa nova among other genres, here Jürg creates a romantic beauty that leaves me hitting "repeat" every time it ends. Bravo Master Jürg Kindle!

And don't stop there! Remember that all the past selections follow the new top ten starting with John Standefer's gritty western "Badlands"! I'm still waiting for this one to become the theme music to a hit western movie or TV series. It's sexy, sensuous and raw like a Sergio Leone movie! 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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