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Brilliant Guitar Playing
Leland M. Searles | Des Moines, IA USA | 06/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have yet to experience disappointment with Heywood's guitar work, except that there isn't enough of it. This is his first solo album, with an appealing mix of his own pieces and songs from acoustic blues greats. Amazingly, this recording shows a high level of consistency in quality throughout, a characteristic I have also come to expect from Phil's performances. There are no filler tracks to be tolerated until the next great song comes along, only the high quality and standards of an excellent musician who obviously cares deeply about the sounds that make his spruce vibrate. The sweeping emotional range goes from the poignant and reflective Sequel to Constant Traveler to the nervous Willies and the transporting Osmotic Journey, the last with its tribute to Jorma Kaukonen's Embryonic Journey. There is nothing but musical justice to John Hurt's Candy Man, Joseph Spence's Great Dream from Heaven, and John Fahey's Some Summer Day, all stunning bows to the heritage of the genre. The collection closes with what could be the most expressive rendition of Si Bhig Si Mhor that any fingerstylist has put on tape (sorry, Pierre). There is so much more to be said, but 'tis better to listen than to read."