Francis Doughty

Among Trees

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Among Trees is an all-instrumental release by Francis Doughty, featuring 13 originals by a solo artist quietly setting forth his muse. His approach is similar to the later work of Leo Kottke. Doughty achieves a great deal of balance with individual compositions, undoubtedly sustained by his classical background. Instrumentals like "By Lantern Light" work subtly, leaving the listener with pleasing, tranquil impressions. His liner notes describe the memories and events that served as inspiration for each piece. The evocative nature of cuts such as "Jasper's in the Window," which is about a cat, will lead the listener to their own memories and impressions. "Gandalf's Guitar Garden" is a pleasing, if melancholy, ode to another cat. Like an impressionist using pastels, Doughty takes pleasure in capturing light as it falls upon a quiet garden, or through a country kitchen's window. "Hermit Thrush," while remaining appealing, veers closer to the looser, open sound of John Fahey. Unlike Fahey though, Doughty avoids erupt changes or dissonance. He is satisfied to keep most cuts under four minutes, avoiding stretching pieces to the point of becoming repetitive. His gentle approach is technically proficient and easy going on the ears. There are, in fact, no bad cuts on this album, and it's an easy CD to keep in one's disc player. Among Trees is a satisfying recording, and will be a real treat for lovers of good guitar music.

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