Alex de Grassi

Southern Exposure

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SOUTHERN EXPOSURE is one of solo acoustic guitarist Alex De Grassi's most emotionally rich early collections. What is most impressive is the full sound the guitarist is able to achieve on a single fingerpicked instrument. For example, on the album-opening "Overland," De Grassi manages to produce a waterfall-like effect of cascading notes by rapidly strumming across arpeggios. Another especially full piece is the bass-rich "Heavy Feet," which casts a darker hue over the proceedings.

Like the best deeply contemplative new age collections, SOUTHERN EXPOSURE can light a fire in a listener's imagination. When De Grassi looks skyward on the sprawling "Blue and White" and "Cumulus," one imagines lying in the grass on an open hillside, gazing into a cloud-speckled sky. With each crystalline high note of "Western," one traces the wind-blown bounce of an attendant tumbleweed. And while settling into the warm embrace of the album-closing "Subway," one might recall the thrill of riding a metropolitan subway for the first time as a child.

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