This is one of the latest CandyRat label releases and further demonstrates the concentration the label maintains for putting pure guitar musics back in the forefront. Craig D'Andrea traces out from less dense sources than much of his label compeers, his music filled with hazy light, carefree happiness, grasshoppers bouncing along in meadows, wispy clouds ambling by overhead, and late afternoons in summer and fall. Like all the CandyRatters, D'Andrea wields a sophisticated fingerpicking and percussive technique (and I'm fairly sure I heard a little flatpicking in there somewhere, maybe not) throwing out breezily fluid chords with clusters of note runs gamboling. The melodies are often reminiscent of the delicacies of samba and such, fragile, ethereal, dexterously energetic when the composition calls for it, the exhilaration of a sunny Sunday amping up the positivity factor.
More than a little, I was reminded of Bruce Cockburn's mid-period, where Cockburn's own playing expanded out to match the ensembles emphasizing myriad gentle intricacies in his oeuvre. Some songs here definitely quicken the pulse (Anyone's Everything and it's follower, Four Voices for Two Guitars), but nothing will take your head off in the manner of rock and roll rhythms and pounding. Getting Used to Isolation is meant to soothe, relax, and induce contemplations, a break from the excessive noise and clatter of the world. Even the brisk passages and cuts have a gentility to them that sets one back further in the chaise lounge, beaujolais in hand, straw hat shading the sun's rays, while marveling at the dexterities. D'Andrea can switch from clustering chords to fragile lead melody lines in the flash of an eye, setting contrasts enriching each other. How well he succeeds is only partially shown in the fact that he was crowned Canadian Fingerstyle Champion of 2007; the rest of his acumen goes well beyond what awards could possibly convey.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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