Bruce Mathiske – Rhythms by Ian Dearden
To recycle that old (misused) Roy and HG line – there are times when too much fingerpicking is not quite enough! Bruce Mathiske is one of Australia’s outstanding exponents of acoustic guitar playing (both fingerstyle and flatpicking) and it’s all here, in spades, on this album. It’s a tour de force- with some modest contributions by guest musicians, mainly by percussionists, the rest is all Bruce, and boy can he play! As someone who has spent the past 35 years struggling with the mysteries of the guitar, I did seriously feel like packing it away after listening to the CD. There’s no way, even in ten lifetimes that I will be able to get even close to this level of expertise. Although Bruce is perfectly capable of playing at a million miles an hour, and does so on occasions, he does have a great ear for melody, and is capable of playing with great taste and delicacy over a bewildering range of different styles. His styles range from gypsy jazz to country, calypso to latin, and various other styles in between (including quasi-classical). All 14 tracks on the album were composed and recorded by Bruce, who gets an exquisite sound out of his Jim Williams handcrafted guitars. It’s not always easy to keep the listener’s attention over the course of an album which is essentially solo guitar, with embellishments, and Bruce has succeeded superbly. Now if just go and practice for the next ten years or so, I might be able to pull off some of those country riffs on track five! Oh, and by the way, there’s a bonus DVD of Bruce live from 2000, so you can watch and try and work out how he does it.
About the artist: Bruce Mathiske brings you stringed excellence. Fiery fretwork of solo guitar orchestra playing bass, rhythm and melody at once, encompassing a huge range of genres from swing to Latin, jazz to African, folk to flamenco, gypsy to ambient simultaneously playing didgeridoo. This will send you spellbound on a journey with infectious rhythms from far flung corners of his guitar and fiddle.
DVD Bruce Mathiske “Live” also available at TN519 $30
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