John Hasbrouck

Some These Days

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John Hasbrouck is a good guitarist, excelling in both fingerstyle and bottleneck techniques. He opens Some These Days with the self-written "Ebenezer's Lower Manhattan Walking Tour," a nice, lazy bit of slide guitar (and a title that would've made John Fahey smile). "Back Into Days" is another original, and Hasbrouck switches to a vibrant fingerstyle method here. This combination of versatility and originality will remind one of Harvey Reid, another guitarist who's won a wider reputation even though he has released his material on a very small label. The only downside, and here the comparison to Reid still holds, is that Hasbrouck also insists on singing. His singing isn't bad, though one might wish that he'd chosen less traditional material. The problem is, he's a much better guitarist. His vocals, on cuts like "False Hearted Lover's Blues" and "Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow" could be called spirited or overwrought, depending on the listener. Hasbrouck, then, has essentially made two partial albums, one filled with winning instrumentals, the other with traditional songs. If one were to judge Some These Days on its instrumental merits alone, it would be a very solid affair, but as it stands, listeners primarily interested in guitar playing (as promoted on the album's front cover) will be disappointed.

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