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Boomkat Product Review:
Now all dust from the recent explosion of solo guitar albums has settled somewhat, the Numero Group barge their way into this most saturated of markets with their customarily keen eye for unearthing largely unknown talents. The liner notes go through the motions of presenting a potted history of the form, inevitably paying tribute to John Fahey and the Takoma school, but this is only contextual information, provided to gently introduce newcomers to the format. According to Rob Sevier's introduction, that's the sort of audience this compilation is aimed at: the new and casual listener, who isn't necessarily versed in the American Primitive lineage. You'll find a great deal of text bundled into this release, with several of the performers offering their musings and reflections on their relationship with the instrument, and as you thumb through these accounts you might notice a few recognisable album sleeves: Stephen Cohen's 'No More School' comes from The Tree People album, reissued not long ago by Japanese imprint Tiliqua, and the William Eaton contribution resurfaced as part of a solo full-length only last week thanks to the EM label. Arguably the most exciting piece on the disc is Daniel Hecht's 'Baba Dream Songs', showcasing a formidably dextrous technique and a fiery, impassioned picking style. Nowadays Hecht is best known as a novelist, but his instrumental talents were immense if this recording is anything to go by. In all fairness, the other contributors aren't exactly shabby either, and this compilation is bound to prompt an interest in these lost artists' obscure back catalogues. Thankfully, with this beautifully assembled collection Numero leave the guitar solo obsessive with plenty of fresh leads to chase up if you're willing to do the crate digging. Lovely stuff - highly recommended.