Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ron Gragg - Maltbie's Walk

Hear The Track Here

Looking back over the reviews I have done of this American Christian rock artist, I think I've been amazingly calm considering that I could have conniptions about sound, lyrical content and probably a few other sores while I am at it. See, in the real world, musicians like Ron Gragg have a lot of stumbling blocks - some put in their way by us, the listeners and some self-inflicted. Obviously none of us have any real choice about our recording situations and you have to tailor your cloth to fit, as it were. My own theory is that by concentrating on the songs and not much else, Ron gets his point across better than more established Christian artists.

The last Ron Gragg track I reviewed - My Fathers World (November 2008) - was a hymn written by Maltbie D. Babcock, in 1901 and in a way so is Maltbie's Walk. He was a keen hiker and walker and would always say that he was 'out to see my father's world' hence the hymn title. Being the proud possessor of a great sounding acoustic guitar, I am always but always interested in other plank spankers - especially the acoustic variety. What has amazed me time and time again with Ron's work is the great sound he gets from his guitar and this, being an instrumental, is a classic example of how to do it right.

Obviously it's just some geezer noodling away on an acoustic, but there is world of difference between Beardy Bill down at the local folk hangout and - say - Leo Kottke (or for that matter the awesome Christopher Martin Hansen from our own unsigned world). I mention these two guitarists in particular because this is the field Maltbie's Walk is set in. Ron does a more than honorable job, taking his time about it and getting it right. What comes out the other end is, well, a very pretty little melody played with skill and pace.

Highly Recommended Acoustic instrumental.

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