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Gill Holdsworth - Shooting Star

Shooting Star

Gill Holdsworth

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

There aren't a whole lot of female solo guitarists out there, so Gill Holdsworth has come along to begin to repair that error, fill the void a bit. This is her first release and it's impressive, a fingerpicking disc that harks back to Jansch and Renbourn while capturing graceful compositions in her own six-stringed voice (metaphorically, of course: there are no vocals, just impeccably played guitar). Delicacy and precision rule the day here amidst sonority and crystalline structures. Nothing is executed for flash, all gravitates to beauty and restraint.

Shooting Star is a collection of recitals honed to perfection, the young Ms. Holdsworth displaying marvelous discretion in her compositions, building the melodies and structures slowly in filigreed raiment shining in the sun. Her technique is flawless, drawing out every quarter tone of inflection. Glimpses of Towner and Hedges peek out every so often but so do Villa-Lobos and Bach, two of her favorite composers.

There is a bit of jazz as well. Thoughts of Summer presents a breezily balmy interlude reminiscent perhaps of Bonfa, Charlie Byrd, and a bit of Gabor Szabo with a little of Chet Atkins' mellower work. The Woodcutter picks up the pace and is equally swingin', a light number with pinging harmonics and cool shadings in chord choices, catchy and refreshing. No matter where you go on this CD, you're going to find immaculate work and a clear spirit respecting the tight clean possibilities inherent in the guitar when it's approached by a well-practiced hand and a quietly incisive mind.

Track List:

  • Muriel's Jig
  • Noth Sides
  • Shooting Star
  • Darkest Before Dawn
  • Autumn Rain
  • Demented in D Minor
  • Thoughts of Summer
  • Ceceilia
  • The Woodcutter
  • Spellbound
  • Dawn of a New Day
All songs written by Gill Holdsworth

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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