Tom Rigney

Metamorphosis

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A lot has changed since the mid-'70s when Tony Rice and David Grisman started playing new acoustic music. 25 years later, the genre has expanded to include electric instruments and a broad range of musical styles. Violinist Tom Rigney and his bandmates take advantage of this eclecticism on Metamorphosis. The opener, "New Moon," is highlighted by Latin percussion, acoustic guitars, and lovely violin work, while "Guiness and Gumbo" adds electric guitar, saxophone, and congas. An organ creates a nice atmospheric backdrop for "Mazatlan," while a clarinet inserts an Eastern European flavor into "The Hour of the Cat." These pieces, and Rigney's overall approach, is unassuming. It's also odd, in a good way, that all of these diverse instruments -- clarinets, accordions, and electric guitars -- blend so well together. One imagines that Danny Caron's electric guitar would be incongruous -- too loud -- for "The Hour of the Cat," but instead it adds an unexpected and welcome touch. Metamorphosis also works well because of Rigney's constant shifting of arrangements. Obviously individual arrangements were chosen because they worked well with a particular instrumental, but the juxtaposition of acoustic and electric arrangements keeps the music fresh. Fans of new acoustic music with a broad approach will enjoy Metamorphosis all the way to the final track.

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