John Williams

The Raven

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The Raven Review

by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

There's something intimate about putting two virtuosos together in the studio and allowing their musical geniuses to intertwine. The interplay and chemistry between the two players ultimately has more to do with the success of the project than one player's ability to deliver a hot solo. The Raven features the talents of guitarist Dean Magraw and multi-instrumentalist John Williams on an expansive set that covers both Celtic dance reels and folk-classical. Magraw's guitar supplies a steady thread from "Twin's Dance Party" to the title cut, while Williams' ability to switch from button accordion to flute to piano provides the duo with a great deal of versatility. The opener, "Twin's Dance Party/Sylvia's & Mikey's Reels," bounces along to the tune of a rhythmic guitar and lively accordion, while "Perdition Piano Duet" glides along to the intricate intermingling of guitar and piano. The combination of traditional pieces and original compositions, along with fresh arrangements, is a good mix. That some venders may file The Raven under easy listening is a misnomer. The album is quite mellow in places, but it never tempts one to meditate or go to sleep. Williams and Magraw have forged a fruitful partnership on The Raven, and the results are quite enjoyable.

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