Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Out of Hand
Genres: New Age, Pop
Billy McLaughlin is another in a line of post-Michael Hedges, two-handed acoustic guitarists, whacking and thwacking their instruments with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and anything else to extend their range. On his latest albu... more »
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Billy McLaughlin is another in a line of post-Michael Hedges, two-handed acoustic guitarists, whacking and thwacking their instruments with hammer-ons, pull-offs, and anything else to extend their range. On his latest album, Out of Hand, McLaughlin goes beyond the guitar, adding in drum machines for trip-hop grooves and global percussion from Steve Tibbetts's percussive partner, Marc Anderson. Toss in touches of electric guitar and keyboard, and McLaughlin's Out of Hand suddenly sets him apart from the Hedges wannabes. That works to his detriment on the overwrought workout of the Eagles' "Best of My Love" and the smooth-jazz bid of "Flying Dream." Those overproduced pieces are disappointing, given the way McLaughlin makes machine grooves sound rootsy with blues bends and country twangs on "Out of Hand" and "Midwatch." Yet the intricate movements of "Clockshop" and "Hold On to Forever" reveal a guitarist who is original in just picking his strings. --John Diliberto
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A great guitarist with a little too much production
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Billy McLaughlin is an extremely talented fingerstyle guitarist who had a bit too much time in the studio for this album. When he lets his guitar do the work, the songs are excellent but this album tends to be overproduced. Especially cloying is the elevator music version of the Eagle's "Best of My Love." Still, I enjoy most of the album. But if you haven't heard McLaughlin before, I would heartily recommend "Fingerdance" as a good first choice."
Russell Diederich | Littleton, CO United States | 06/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first picked up this cd after seeing Billy McLaughlin live. He opened for another fingerstyle great, Adrian Legg. I was absolutely blown away by the style of his play. Most of his playing is done using the two-handed touch tap technique al la Stanley Jordan, but that's were the similarity ends. McLaughlin plays an entirely acoustic set with a bluesy, hip-hop feel. This isn't just all solo guitar though. On several tracks, McLaughlin adds drums, keyboards, some trumpet, and a touch of electric guitar to support him. It never detracts from McLaughlin's guitar as that remains firmly the main presence and force of this album. The album opens with the title track and sets the mood of what is to occur over the next 47 minutes. It's an upbeat tune with guitar melody and rhythm playing at the same time with different hands. "Clockshop" is my favorite of the album, and it composed of a beautiful melody countered with a nice baseline all done on one guitar. The solo work doesn't stop there as can be heard on the passionate slow playing on "Hold On to Forever". McLaughlin doesn't lose anything by having musician's (organic or digital) backing him as on the funky "11", and the more laid back "Candleman".McLaughlin is definitely someone to see live if you can get the chance. If you can't, pick up one of his albums. This one is quite a good representation of his ability and playing style. If you like fingerstyle guitar, or just good music you'll love this."
Another example of great guitar work...
Justin R. Macumber | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 05/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Yeah, I'm a guitar lover. I make no bones about that. Always have been and always will be. And nothing makes me smile more than hearing my favorite instrument played by a master, like Billy McLaughlin. I first heard his work about five years ago, on a guitar compilation disk from Narada, and was just blown away by his song Helms Place. Being new to guitar back then, I'd never heard anyone play like that, both hands just workin' the strings and frets. Well, after that I kept an eye out for more of his work, and when this came out I was very pleased. All of the songs are winners, but Hold On To Forever has to be my absolute favorite, with Soulmates close behind. The electronic sounds threw me off at first, and that's the only reason this is getting 4 stars instead of 5. I'm glad he is experimenting, but his solo guitar work is where his true brilliance lies.Also, check out his CD Fingerdance and his new "best of" disk, Acoustic Original, on which is County Wicklow Mystic, one of my all-time favorite songs."