Will Ackerman

Childhood and Memory

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The last of William Ackerman's '70s albums is an accomplished set of reflective solo pieces for acoustic guitar, and further solidified Ackerman's role as a new age pioneer. The lyrical pieces are contemplative, delicate, and gently melodic, with enough structure to keep them from turning into musical wallpaper -- much the guitar equivalent of George Winston's Windham Hill piano work. Intimately recorded tunes like "The Wall and the Wind" and "The Velvet Gentleman" are pastoral, wistful, and almost nostalgic in their longing for a simpler time. "Seattle" demonstrates Ackerman's folk/bluegrass abilities, with a more vigorous rhythmic drive than is found on most of the other tracks. The banjo accompaniment on a couple tracks adds to the folky flavor. It's an easy listen: consistent and zen-like in its deft, simple technique and production setting. Whereas Ackerman would be adding a bit more instrumentation on subsequent albums, Childhood and Memory pretty much sticks to the basics.

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