Lagniappe Session (ep)
Independent / Aquarium Drunkard
I’m a huge fan of William Tyler’s work and here – on his second Lagniappe Session for the Aquarium Drunkard blog he delights with a short, sharp set of intriguing cover versions The Lagniappe Session is where an artist brings a handful of covers to the table for an EP. Tyler’s second time at this shows great thought in the process with a classic-rock staple, two classical pieces and a contemporary indie-pop song.
So, first up we have Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way re-arranged for solo guitar. Tyler weaves a gentle storm of acoustic guitar with all the warmth and invention of Leo Kottke. It’s a beautiful rendition of a radio-ruined FM (in both senses) stalwart.
From there it’s to Dvorak’s New World Symphony from the 19th Century. Painting in folk-music hues, Tyler takes little stabs at the rhythm and colours around the edges. It’s calming and clever.
Next is Handel’s Sarabande – a slow waltz which you might know from its use in the film Barry Lyndon. Again, Tyler’s folk earnestness rewards here with a stately rendition of some needlepoint guitar-work.
To close it’s Yo La Tengo’s Tears Are In Your Eyes; layering electric guitar over acoustic helps to bring that lovely, lilting Yo La Tengo melody to the fore. Think Chet Atkins, think Hawaiian guitar’s lope and linger, think perfect sun-kissed gentle reverie.
Tyler is one of the modern masters of the solo guitar form. He has playing and arranging chops to die for and as he adds more covers to his repertoire he is showing himself to be a skilled interpreter also.
This gorgeous wee EP is well worth your time if you’re a lover of solo guitar work. Here it is – no flash, no dazzle, just perfectly poised music. Actual music. No stunt-work. His great talent is allowing the music to shine. And her for it to be re-birthed.
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