Friday, June 29, 2012

Rich Osborn, Giving Voice, Guitar Explorations

In the tradition of solo acoustic guitarists like Fahey, Kotke, and the others who flourished in an earlier day, Rich Osborn dedicates himself to making starkly acoustic original music with a improvisational feel but at the same time an attention to form. This is to say what he is up to on his album Giving Voice (Free Range Ranga 0001).

There's an Indian classical influence at times, open tuning musical sonorities, an attention to acoustic sound as sound, some modified picking, and a spacious ambiance.

Since new age has come about after the heyday of Fahey and his cohorts, and the influence of the latter's guitar playing has had an effect on that music, one sometimes wonders about the fine line between something ambient and mellow and yet with artistic integrity, whatever that means, and things that lack that.

But if you listen enough to Osborn's album, you affirm that what's going on is beyond new-age noodling and into the integral zone.

He has a voice and it's a good listen. Nothing more need be said.


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