Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ralph Atkinson - Firefly

Hear The Track Here

As you may know, I am teaching my 11 year old son how to play the guitar and one of the first tunes he seems to have picked up on is Owl City's Fireflies (which btw is a great song), so consequently he made me learn the damn thing. As a consequence whenever I see this track's name, I instantly start humming said damn thing. Bloody good job it actually is a good song. All of which has nothing to do with Ralph Atkinson, whose entire catalog I seem to be working my way through and it's an equally good job that he is a musician (guitarist primarily) who I can appreciate. I last encountered him in an excellent collaborative effort with Soundclick stalwarts, 333maxwell and Larry Ludwick on Failing (October 2010) which got a well deserved Must Have from me.

Can't remember who it was but someone else gave me a piece just lately that was also an acoustic guitar number in an open tuning, give me a while, it'll come to me. DGDGBD is, for those who know, the tuning that this track is played on and if that sounds like gobbledegook, just go listen to the track and it'll become clear immediately. Playing an open tuning gives the guitarist a whole different outlook on what to play, and Ralph managed to play this on an extremely rare Japanese Shiraki guitar for a challenge competition, so obviously it was a quick study. Can't fault the choice of instruments this guy employs, that's for sure.

Either that Shiraki is double tracked or there are other guitars on this, including an absolutely beautiful lap steel guitar, or something played with a bottleneck. Whichever it is, sent shivers right down my spine and that's always a good sign. As is obvious from my opening statements, I am very much inclined towards acoustic instruments in the real world (even though I very rarely use them in my recorded work) so I am absolutely bound to like this, but that shouldn't stop you checking it out because it is well worth the while. Evoking names is an obvious fallback for me but I'm not going to succumb to it this time, merely say that here is an acoustic guitarist doing what he does best, and doing it beautifully.

Highly Recommended acoustic guitar piece.

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