In this album, Preston Reed pushes his percussive, slapping and tapping style into new realms.
The best songs on this album are as good as anything done by any acoustic guitarist at any time, period. "Overture (for Lily)" is as good as Hot Tuna's "Water Song" and anything on Leo Kottke's "6 and 12 string Guitar" (the song's two main influences)--something I wouldn't have believed possible. In "Slap Funk" and "Tribes," Reed explores the percussive possibilities of the guitar with ground-breaking variety and subtlety, as he explores the tonal possibilities of different guitars on "Metal" and "Franzl's Saw." Throughout, Reed blends his pyrotechnic two-handed techniques seamlessly with passages of elegant simplicity; nowhere does Reed's extraordinary virtuosity overshadow his musicality. This CD should be on any acoustic guitar lover's "Top 10 of All Time" list.
It only takes one listen to be hooked. I’m not a guitar buff in particular, having very broad tastes. Chancing to hear the title track of this album on BBC Radio 3 (UK), my immediate thoughts were “who is this man?” followed immediately by “I must have this”. Virtuosity apart (which is simply unquestioned), the gorgeous sound of Reed’s guitar has a delicious nut-brown warmth, infused with a chilli pepper fire that just makes one’s hair stand on end. This sort of sound can only happen when the artist puts a lot of love into his music. You will love it too. The very existence of inspired music like this makes it worth getting up in the morning.