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Matthew Fagan - One Day in Nashville

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  • Model: TN1800-15
  • Shipping Weight: 0.125kg
  • 4 Units in Stock

CD review by Chris Spencer

When the editor passed this cd to me to review, my first thought was that one of the Fagans had released a solo cd! Duh! Matthew Fagan is a guitarist from Melbourne who prefers to play in a Spanish or flamenco style.

This is his third cd, he has also recorded with Solstice which is a more jazz orientated trio.

While the title might suggest this is an album of country tunes, whereas the title refers to a studio in Nashville where the album was recorded.

This album consists of 12 instrumental tracks, but two contain medleys of different songs.

Fagan mixes up the songs, including a couple of originals (“A Woman's Lament”, Renaissance”), some traditional (“Amazing Grace”, “Tocatta” & “Malaguena”), and some contemporary 'popular' covers – two songs of the Beatles, a Sting song (“Fragile”) and an elegant cover of a Cyndi Lauper song - “Time after Time”.

“Ashokan Farewell” has lots of those squeaks when the player moves his fingers over the strings – is there a musical term for this?!

The songs that I enjoyed the most, were the Beatles' cover “Blackbird” which seems to suit the guitar perfectly, and the two medleys – one an Irish/ Celtic consisting of “She Moved Through the Fair”, “The Boys from Blue Hill” and “Abdull the Celtic Camel”, the other an English one – comprising Greensleeves, “Babe I'm Gonna Leave You”, the George Harrison song “While my Guitar Gently Weeps” and an excerpt from the classic “Stairway to Heaven”.

Fagan has wisely included some well known tunes so that the listener is not alienated, choosing melodies that people will know and appreciate his arrangements and playing.

If you're into classically inspired guitar playing, you should be interested in purchasing this cd.

 


 

Review by Tony Smith

 

The title of this 2011 album is a little mysterious.

It suggests a bluegrass or country theme but the tracks are Matthew Fagan’s usual eclectic mix.

So there are traditional tunes arranged by Fagan (‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Toccata’, ‘Malaguena’), an Irish medley, an English medley, some Fagan compositions (‘A Woman’s Lament’ and ‘Renaissance’) and original treatments of some popular tunes such as Sting’s ‘Fragile’, ‘Time After Time’ by Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman and two Led Zeppelin tunes including ‘Stairway to Heaven’.

I have to say that to my ear some of the slower and less ‘busy’ tracks have greatest appeal.

Of several tracks made popular by The Beatles for example ‘If I Fell’ seems more melodious to me than does ‘Blackbird’.

Other listeners will of course have different opinions about this.

What there should be no disagreement about is Fagan’s absolute mastery of the guitar.

Fagan performs a brilliant rendition of Jay Ungar’s ‘Ashokan Farewell’.

This tune has been popular among fiddlers, flautists and accordionists for some time but the resonance of the guitar adds another evocative layer to the deep sentiment.

The tune was used traditionally as the goodnight song at Ashokan festivals in upstate New York

One Day in Nashville displays Matthew Fagan’s usual busy approach to pieces.

The notes pour from Fagan’s finger tips.

There is plenty of fast music on five of the tracks where Fagan plays his standard Martin guitar, but things get a lot busier on the remaining seven tracks where he picks up his James Keith custom 10 string.

With D’Addario and Hannabach classical steel strings adding to the resonance the tracks on this CD are sharp and nuanced, bt in the final analysis, it is Matthew Fagan’s familiarity with the instrument and his ability to play both fast and sure that will impress anyone who has picked up a guitar.

 

 

 




This product was added to our catalog on Sunday 28 August, 2011.