We have our first ever, two time Record of the Week honoree and his name is James Blackshaw. His 2009 album, The Glass Bead Game, was our first ever Record of the Week after the great website redesign of last year. This time it’s his fantastic new album, All Is Falling, that gets the call for Record of the Week.
If you are not familiar with James Blackshaw’s work, he is a 20-something year old guitar prodigy who’s work was deeply rooted in the American Primitivism styling of John Fahey, Robbie Basho and Leo Kottke. As he has continued to put out albums, he’s found himself more and more, composing piano pieces as well as string arrangements to surround his very intricate acoustic guitar work.
With his new album he’s decided to pick up the electric guitar and you can see influence from Phillip Glass to Sandy Bull and comparisons to more modern acts such as Peter Broderick and even Nico Muhly. Instead of song titles, the tracks are listed as parts, giving off the idea that this album is one long piece broken into movements. There isn’t much of a break in the album until the final movement, which also happens to be the longest on the album.
All in all, another absolutely fine effort from James Blackshaw. It’s not often an album comes out and we already eagerly await what he’s going to do next, but with Blackshaw’s musical evolution, we can’t help but be excited what he’s got in store for the future.
Listen to “Part 2″ from James Blackshaw’s All Is Falling
Our honorable mention could have very well of been Record of the Week as well. It’s refreshing when a record comes around these days and you can only describe it with two words: heavy metal. Christian Mistress’ debut album, Agony & Opium, is six tracks of metal played the way the it should be played. Hearkening back to the sounds of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and maybe even Megadeth, this album is an absolute for any fan of NWOBHM.
Listen to “Desert Rose” from Christian Mistress’ Agony & Opium