One of the biggest benefits of being an independent artist in today’s music industry is the fact that there are no rules. No one to insist that your music goes in a specific direction or stays within a certain genre. Our friend Joe Hodgson has taken this to new heights with his all encompassing new album Apparitions.
The amazing guitarist from Northern Ireland has been mastering his instrument for quite a while. As Joe Hodgson experienced more and more styles as he traveled the world he was able to incorporate them into his own playing style. It would be unfair to lump him into any one genre as Joe seems to be able to take the guitar anywhere that he sees fit. We are able to go along for the ride with his brand new guitar instrumental album. Prepare yourself to be in awe of what a man can accomplish with a guitar.
The Apparations album, released today, is 15 songs that wander in and out of a plethora of genres to let the sound take over without any restraints. As we begin with the classical notes of Bach’s “Cantata 147” the same track quickly dives into the funk of “Fly Your Flag”. Just within this first track you can tell that some surprises are in store.
Latin rhythms come to a head on “Serena Sonata” as the last 2 minutes of the song are fast paced guitar meanderings up and down the neck of the instrument. Even with only guitar and some drums a full picture is painted of a far away place that seems like a fun filled party. The other side is shown on “Bareback Blues” as Joe Hodgson shows his roots in the Blues but takes it up a notch with speedy solos.
Another swing of styles is experienced on “The Player” and the next track “Till The Last Breath”. As the former uses a solid paced percussion beat to turn up the energy and get toes and heads tapping, the latter is a solemn and delicate exploration of sadder tones that lets the listener dive deeper into their own mind. The range of Joe Hodgson amazes me yet again.
Some more classical tones open up “Disruptor” before some fast and furious guitar rock takes over to show the shredding the musician is capable of. Guitar Gods would be proud. (Jealousy of the talent has started to kick in as I sit in my studio with my guitar on my lap and 30 watt amp never able to produce sounds like this…)
Some funk and other guitar sounds come to roost on “Resurrection Dance”. This is a tough one ot catorgorize, which makes it so good. Noises come at us from all angles and styles to blend into one complete package. The full journey comes to a close with the smoky filled Jazz of the closer “Losing You Again”. Again I am instantly transported to another place. This time it is an elegant lounge sitting back enjoying a cocktail while the sounds of a guitar serenade me. Fortunately Joe lets us off with this laid back song to close the record so we can almost go along with our everyday lives as out heartbeats return to a normal state.
For any lover of the guitar sound, no matter what the genre, Apparitions is an experience to be listened to from start to finish. Set aside some time and take the ride for yourself.