Robbie Basho

Art of the Acoustic Steel String Guitar 6 and 12

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Along with acoustic guitar innovators John Fahey and Leo Kottke, Basho is known for his work on the Takoma label. Longtime fan William Ackerman signed Basho to his fledgling Windham Hill label in the late '70s and this resulting album is a little less esoteric than his previous efforts, but no less exotic. Basho had always been heavily influenced by the music of India, specifically Ravi Shankar, and this time around there's also a healthy dose of Western classical influences. "Variations on Clare de Lune" is a highlight, along with a reprise of his 1967 "The Grail and the Lotus." Most of Basho's recorded work has a slight (sometimes not so slight) disturbing or unsettled quality to it and this is exemplified by the times he decides to sing. His vocals are a weird, deep, otherworldly baritone and are an acquired taste to say the least. If you can get past the occasional singing, though, there's some mind-boggling guitar to savor on this release.

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