ECLECTIC Various artists "Sounds
of Wood & Steel." Windham Hill. 15 tracks.
"Sounds of Wood & Steel" is
one of those albums that makes you wonder why
someone hasn't done this sooner. The acoustic
guitar compilation is a valentine to the instrument
and a tribute of sorts to the late guitar great
Michael Hedges, who died in December. It's a good
mix of some of the genre's top performers and
musicians not primarily known for guitar work.
Among them, Clint Black keeps it simple on the
bluesy standard "The Claw," while Kathy Mattea and
Bill Cooley contribute "Into the Night," a brisk
duet with a pleasing backbeat. Among the heavy
hitters are Hedges' "Java Man," an intricate,
layered number. Proving that less can be more, Leo
Kottke, often called "the guitarist's guitarist,"
beautifully captures the essence of fingers against
strings with the minimalist "Jesus
Copyright 1998, The Atlanta
Journal and Constitution, All rights reserved.
WEEKEND AT HOME: THE LATEST IN MUSIC, VIDEOS AND
BOOKS., The Atlanta Journal and Constitution,
03-19-1998, pp G04; G04.