It shouldn't be surprising that Guitar by the Fire offers no surprises to fans of such John Tesh records as Sax by the Fire. Tesh's music is frequently about texture -- usually, that texture is romantic mood music, which is what this album is. It doesn't matter that Tesh doesn't play guitar -- he doesn't play saxophone, either; the title just signals what the main instrument on the album is. The guitar is light and romantic, fitting the mood of the album perfectly. Anyone who liked previous Tesh records will probably enjoy this, even if it doesn't seem to have the special something that made Sax by the Fire a favorite, nor does it have the musical scope of Live at Red Rocks. Instead, it just offers good mood music.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine