Gordon Giltrap

Under This Blue Sky

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The follow-up to Acoustic Troubadour, Under This Blue Sky sees Gordon Giltrap coming back to what he does best: writing and playing solo acoustic guitar pieces. Whenever extra instrumentation is brought in, it is always with grace and simplicity, usually to enhance the melody. Hilary Ashe-Roy contributes flute on a handful of tracks, giving the album the pastoral feel listeners have come to expect from the guitarist. A couple of pieces sound a bit too easy or predictable, but the man can still surprise. Witness "Crossing the Border," in which a bridge section features slap and muted strings playing, both rather unusual techniques on acoustic guitar and used here to create a great contrast. Guitarist Bert Jansch makes a guest appearance on his own composition, "Chambertin," one of only two pieces not penned by Giltrap. The other one is George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" -- the guitarist assures he had already been working on this arrangement for months when the news of the Beatle's death reached him. In any case, it remains too faithful to the original to be of much interest. "At Giltrap's Bar" and "Winter Dance" provide much better highlights. Under This Blue Sky is on par with most of his previous albums.

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