If you like George Winston, Liz Story, Tim Story (no relation), and the spectrum of chamber-moderne ambient pastorales, then you're going to love The Road to Ambo, as Adam Andrews possesses a highly developed narrative sense, sparkling élan, and uncluttered style within a pair of well trained hands exhibiting clean precise chops…even to the point of novo classicalism, first best demonstrated in Hope and Joy, a kind of lullaby largo filled with light. The CD title refers to his and his wife's adoption of an Ethiopian child, Ambo, and within that act lies a philosophy of the need to heal the world, what the Christians call 'The Golden Rule', the Jews call 'tikun olam', and artists would term as "living correctly…finally!"
Well, Earth is more than a little koyaanisqatsi, and so such things are more than needed. Unknown Hero is curiously zen oriented, themed after a very different ilk of hero, wherein the Western tenets of ego and individual / corporate barter contained in what's laughingly called 'charity' are upended in favor of the truly charitable soul who, in Andrews' words "gives selflessly without any hope of return or even acknowledgement". What a world we'd have if even 10% of its inhabitants acted in such manner.
This isn't New Age music, though I have no doubt it'll go over very well indeed in that realm, and there isn't the slightest hint of darkness here, only hope, light, gratitude, pensivity, and happiness. Every cut sings even though there are no vocals, just and only one man, one piano, two hands, and a lot of ivory keys being used for the sort of healing Andrews envisions but also most definitely for art. While studying the classicalist masters, at age 10 Adam had memorized Haydn's Concerto in C-Major, performing it in front of a large and very appreciative high school audience, returning the next year with Haydn's Concerto in D-Major in the same fashion. Man, talk about overachieving! But he's always found music and the piano to be very therapeutic for his own mind and soul and here extends the gift to whomever has the ears and time to sit down and listen. Not a moment is less than soothing and inspirational but also, to re-emphasize, quite quite artistic.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles