Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dan Tharp - Beg To Differ

Hear The Track Here

The second review this month from Popspace, this time a name that is new to me. Dan Tharp is an acoustic guitarist and there is a term that will set a few hackles to rise up. Longer term readers of those reviews will know full well my appreciation of guitarists such as Bert Jansch, Leo Kottke et al, and especially my love for Spanish classical guitar music and know that the term (acoustic guitarist in case you had forgotten) doesn't just cover some bearded, pot bellied cove who strums the odd chord to help his caterwauling to pierce even the most protected nerves. There is a world of difference between acoustic music (ie what most people refer to as folk) and acoustic instrumental music. Finger picking? Why sure it is, but not in that country sense you mean either.

The thing I most loved about these artists (and Christopher Martin Hansen is a contemporary who springs right to mind) is their fluidity, grace and style. Anyone who has experienced - live and in person - a guitar player of the likes I have mentioned above will know that this isn't just another guitar player. This is one who strives mightily at his craft because - when all is said and done - talent will only get you so far. With music of this calibre and quality, the one thing that is immediately apparent is that such dexterity can only come with practice. Welp, seems like Dan has certainly had the experience having started playing in his early teens, so I guess if ya ain't mastered it in twenty odd years, the chances are you never will. Not that I think Dan has any such problem, the only probelm I see is why he didn't start exploring THIS musical world a while ago. He'd have found lots of takers.

Good instrumentalists are as rare as hens teeth so when you find one you tend to cling onto them, and I'm certain that Dan is going to be one of those artists. While it is true that I do love a well played instrument, it also has be contain something more than technical expertise and where Beg To Differ makes up for the lack of emotional excitement (a common factor with music of this style IMHO) it's in the very Kottke-esque arrangement. It's a track full of little guitarists flourishes (harmonics, note flurries all that good s****) so obviously it will definitely appeal to axeheads everywhere; especially those who recognise the names I have used to partially describe what Dan's music sounds like. My only (very small) quibble is that it all seemed a bit dry, a touch of the right EQ and echo and this would really sing. Ultimately here is an artist who develop rapidly now he has the internet/home recording bit between his teeth, and it's going to be most pleasant being along for the ride.

Extremely classy acoustic instrumental. Highly Recommended in every way.

1 comment:

Dan Tharp said...

Hey Steve! THANKS MUCH for the very kind words and review of "Beg to Differ". FYI - I placed your review on my website at
I really appreciate the kind review.
If you're interesting in hearing more of my music, you can find some of it at popspace, although, I'm only allowed (I think?) 7 pieces?
Currently, I have 12 pieces posted on my website at
I'd appreciate any feedback (positive or negative) you have to offer.
"Beg to Differ" isn't actually one of my strongest pieces....but that, I guess, falls into the realm of being "in the eye (ear) of the beholder". Some pieces of mine that I don't like so much, most people like....others that I really love, others don't respond to. :O)
What do I know, though, 'eh? :O)
Thanks again and take care!
Dan Tharp