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Boomkat Product Review:
For the fourth installment in their always excellent Imaginational Anthem compilation series, the Tompkins Square label goes about compiling works from modern-day, up-and-coming acoustic guitar heroes; while previous volumes focused on the "forgotten legends of the American Primitive genre" you'll hear a wealth of new voices coming through on this entry, including C. Joynes, William Tyler (Silver Jews, Lambchop), Tyler Ramsey (from Band Of Horses), Nick Jonah Davis and Aaron Sheppard. The set begins with a progressive statement from Chris Forsyth, whose 'Paranoid Cat' transcends the solo guitar formatting usually associated with the series, instead embracing a droning organ and bass accompaniment with a little shaker percussion thrown in. This all contributes to a real cosmic raga feel, within which Forsyth introduces some wonderfully florid fingerpicking. There's more top-quality material to follow too, with remarkably nimble twanging from William Tyler and Sam Moss following immediately on. Even within these first few tracks it strikes you how remarkably distinct and different the tone of a single instrument can sound in the hands of three different virtuosi. Beyond the actual notes being played, it's wonderful to hear the various inflections and techniques of each musician. Of course, the American Primitive sound remains a fixture on the compilation, and you'll hear the bluegrass roots showing on Micah Blue Smaldone's brilliant lapsteel performance on 'Rose March' and the brilliant closing jig from C. Joynes, 'Jemmy Steel'. Highly recommended.