Monday, January 12, 2009

Sumner McKane - North [2005]

McKane is one of those guitarists who makes it seem simple, but his easy-going fingerstyle on electric and acoustic guitars is deceptive. He's an orchestrator of guitar, creating lush filigree and sometimes searing leads.

For "North", he's assembled a small, sympathetic ensemble of drums, bass and occasionally violin. "Careful it Doesn't Look Safe Yet" is typical, with double acoustic guitars laying down rivulets of sound while McKane's electric fades in and out in phantom sustains. McKane's "day job" is playing in a Country & Western band(don't let that scare you off) and you can hear that influence here in the plaintive fingerstyle picking and pedal-steel-like sustains and bends he brings to his electric guitar.

A friend put me onto this and it has become of my favourites. The music is quiet, slow, lingering and at times almost haunting. Amazing stuff.