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CD REVIEW: Richard Leo Johnson - Fingertip Ship
By Ben Ohmart - 05/21/2007 - 10:34 AM EDT

Artist: Richard Leo Johnson
Genre: Experimental
CD Review:
Wow. I haven't heard anyone this exciting on a guitar since Steve Howe first blasted me away on a solo Yes spot. After 12 seconds of opening 'Hearts of Palm' which is much like recorded air, we get into the meat of the instrumental guitar album with 'Glidepath', a frank, unabridged intro to the power of one man and his stringed instrument. Isn't it funny how little you need if you have the talent and fingers to shape just one ancient performance tool to your will? Richard has the fingers, the arms, the spirit, the reach, the patience, and the practiced hum of a soon to be recognized master of the craft. If the world and luck lets him, there would be no surprise if RLJ were mentioned in the same breath as Brian May and Eric Clapton in the near future. Also, if he keeps up the compositional experiments of his 'Thirteen Year Emergence Suite', which takes up tracks 5 thru 8 here, he may find himself spreading into the realm of modern classical. A demo from him sure wouldn't have any classical guitars or quartets turning away, especially after they hear a gander at 'Bluefield' and 'Get Funked'. Is that applause I hear?

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