Soloist Jeff Aug is currently the supporting act for Alan Holdsworth, who is one of the most revered axehandlers on the planet. When Alan's in town, Eddie Van Halen, Jeff Beck, and all the six string bad boys drop what they're doing and sprint down to the concert hall. Thus, I needn't add that ya gotta be damned impressive to appear on the same stage with the guy. Well, Aug doesnt play the highly tweaked burning fusion Holdsworth favors, but his acumen on an acoustic sometimes approaches the inhuman—California Guitar Trio and Candyrat label level material.
The cuts on the 15-track Living Room Sessions are short, nothing over 3:08 and range from pensees to sizzling fretbending. September is definitely autumnal, full of falling leaves and gentle breezes, trees turning colors in ochrous afternoons, while Boots on Fire is just that, a speedy jazzline of precision and returning refrains. Hoedown on the Chicken Farm and Lousiana Voodoo Boogie capture their respective atmospheres with bent chords and interlocking fingerpicking. Add to that two video cuts of a couple of the songs and you have a small visual feast to accompany the tympanic. There's a strong vein of classicality running through everything, not to mention elder hot jazz strains.
This is music for guitar aficionados. Others will be impressed with the more than evident chops but players and connoisseurs will sit agog at the pyrotechnics and tones trotted out for thirsty ears. Aug is part of a renewed concentration on this kind of playing, and it couldn't be coming a moment too soon, with the hideous banality of mainstream radio and television music fare, not to mention the febrility of far too much of "alternative" radio (alternative to what, exactly?). After punk and its troglodytic excesses, craftsmen are slowly again becoming an in-demand commodity rather than the curiosities they're too easily otherwise relegated to be within a wooden-eared society.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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