River Suite for Two Guitars

Tony Rice and John Carlini

Sugar Hill (SH 3837)

Review for The Folk and Acoustic Music Exchange
by Jim Lewis (Jkl2@aol.com)

Wow! Throw another log on the fire, snuggle under a warm blanket with someone you care for, sip something warm, and give a listen to "River Suite for Two Guitars."

Wait! What am I saying? It's summer and 95 degrees out there.

Well then, slip into the pool with someone you care for, while the outdoor speakers deliver the cool guitar sounds of Tony Rice and John Carlini, as you share a tall, cool drink across the float.

This is really cool music. It is _not_ folk or bluegrass music--but after the first few notes, who cares? It _is_ fine acoustic guitar. From the much-too-sparse notes that accompany this CD, I gather both guitarists have firmly established roots in the bluegrass tradition.

They're just straying a bit from those roots in "River Suite for Two Guitars."

The CD is generously long, with 12 tracks containing both well known (Gershwin's "Summertime" and Sondheim's "Send in the Clowns") and, to me at least, unknown ("Bannister River," composed by the performers, and "Nardis," by someone named M. Davis) pieces.

It was my first hearings of "Clowns" and "Summertime," however, that won my heart for this CD. Then, the second and third playings revealed the beauty of the remaining, unknown tunes.

Guitarist Carlini is credited with two other pieces here--the pensive and beautiful "So It Goes," and "Big Mang," a lively, jazzy bit that had my toes tapping from the first notes. Other instant favorites include the lovely "Unknown Emotion" by M. Maher, and the smooth "Night Coach," a creation of someone identified only as A. Rice.

(As with the too-slight information on the two performers, Sugar Hill Records could be a little more forthcoming about the composers of these lovely tunes.)

All in all, "River Suite for Two Guitars" (by the way, there's nothing on the CD with the title "River Suite") is a dandy--both for a hot summer day by the pool, and a cold winter's night by the fire.

Look for "River Suite for Two Guitars" at your local music store or contact:
Sugar Hill
P.O. Box 55300
Durham, NC 27717-5300

This review is copyright, 1995 by Three Rivers Folklife Society.
It may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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