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CD REVIEW: Ed Gerhard – House of Guitars
By Ben Ohmart - 10/07/2001 - 10:16 PM EDT

Artist: Ed Gerhard
Album: House of Guitars
CD Review: Here’s a guy who works hard at the guitar, pickin’ it like a stubborn blackhead, caressing it like a woman who knows her worth, often painting it blue like there’s a sale at Sherwin Williams. The man Knows how to play with your emotions.

Listening right now to ‘Let It Be Me’ I just wanna find a shawl somewhere and hide for 5 hours. His solo guitar here speaks more potent words than lyrics will ever find. That’s the real reason I like instrumental cds best of all. Not just the fact that singers get in the way of thinking about other things, but when you find a catchy, gifted instrumentalist – whatever the instrument – who can make you stop for a minute, and put your hand on the railing to steady yourself, you know you’ve found a keeper.

Ed gets bonus points too for doing an updated version of one of my favorite McCartney tunes, ‘Junk’ from his first album after the Beatles. This tune has always haunted me. Now it’ll haunt the rest of you. Dynamic and inspired playing, in a lazy field of stringed low light. Such a short tune – always was – but what an impact it leaves when touched by a guitar witch who knows the power of pure sound and what spells it can lift off the tense-muscled back.

Beginning and ending with Ed’s own self-penned ‘Promised Land,’ you might briefly expect a blues album to come creeping out of the sidewalk, but it doesn’t happen. Oh sure, there are low-man stops like the ultra-cool ‘I Just Can’t Keep From Crying Sometimes’ that slides like grits on Samsonite, and the sparse world vs. blues style of ‘Shallow Brown’ which could easily be from a later Steven Seagal flick (easy going, stepping somewhere between a classic rock instrumental and a careful priest not quite enjoying his solitary time in a south Georgia monastery).

But there’s also the slight new age side to Ed that says, hey, I don’t wanna keep repeating myself, people! Check out the lite folk nature of the Beatles small-town classic, ‘I Will.’ Gentle touch, lovingly recreated.

Definitely a guitar album worth its weight in silver. Needs to be heard by more ears, more hearts.

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