Brian GladstoneBy thatch • Jan 29th, 2009 • Category: Acoustic, Folk, Music, World
Brian Gladstone is a singer /finger picking guitarist from Toronto. And why is he being featured today? Well head over to the MySpace site, and pick any song you like (it won’t matter- trust me), if you want my pick try “A Song For Everyone“.
Now we are ’bout to have a slight digression (there’s a surprise), back in the late Sixties when I discovered music I could go to half a dozen coffee lounges and folk clubs here in Melbourne. There were people playing amazing guitar and singing songs with lyrics the were a tad meatier than “She Loves You”. Don’t get me wrong, I always appreciated pop music and rock music and when the stuff started arriving from the West Coast of America. It seemed to put all the things I was interested in into one package. ( Think early Jefferson Airplane). But I kept going to the clubs and watched a single bloke on a guitar try and change the world. It worked I never looked back and that bring us to Brian Gladstone.
Brian is one of those performers, just like the ones I used to watch and listen to all those years ago. One guy and a guitar, writing songs that try and change the world. Brian’s style encompasses bluegrass, blues, Celtic, authentic country, and host of other root-based genres.
Here comes a rather long quote from the website
As with Brian’s first CD ‘Back to the Dirt’ – the sound throughout ‘Psychedelic Pholk Psongs’ is entirely acoustic; no electrical instruments used. In fact, so committed was he to this ethic, when co-producer/engineer Robert Digioia plugged in the bass for a track, Brian went so far as to yank out the chord. It was just a natural reflex action, he says. “I didn’t really have a lot of predefined ideas of how the album should sound. I just wanted a very natural sound. I listen to a lot of folk music, and even when there’s electric bass as opposed to acoustic bass, to me, it doesn’t sound quite right. I just wanted a very pure unamplified sound.”The nineteen tracks on ‘Psychedelic Pholk Psongs’ were recorded over a 6-month period at Brian’s home recording studio, a quiltwork of spare parts picked up at music store blow-out sales. There was no guidance system or grand plan in place–just a willingness to spend a few evenings each week playing whatever he felt. Quite often Brian would take a 20-minute break, jot down a few lyrics, and then bound back to the basement to record it exactly the way he felt it—at that precise moment. This home-based atmosphere, I believe, goes a long way toward explaining the personality and spontaneity that is always at the forefront and which gives everything on this recording a cosy intimate feel: a sense that the listener is almost there in person.You’ll find yourself admiring Brian’s confident finger-picking, a tip-off to his debt to all the masters. You’ll hear him on both guitar and banjo. (there are four instrumental standouts on this collection). Some spicy, tasty, on-the-money solos were added by one of Canada’s foremost acoustic guitar aces, Tony Quarrington. Other performers include legendary Daisy DeBolt, Ron Korb, and Maureen Brown.
Short version, I love the guitar playing, I love the ironic and thought provoking lyrics, I love the sincerity and precision ( a rare combination), so give it a listen.