Kevin McCormick | Songs of the Martin

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Folk: Fingerstyle Classical: Romantic Era Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Songs of the Martin

by Kevin McCormick

This collection of folk songs, jazz standards, classical dances, and love songs provide the listener with an unadorned, pure and beautiful snapshot of the history of guitar music in America as performed on an original 1840s C.F. Martin guitar.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Blackbird
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2:25 $0.99
2. Waltz
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1:54 $0.99
3. Freight Train
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1:16 $0.99
4. Fandango
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3:50 $0.99
5. Etude No. 22
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3:19 $0.99
6. Vals en Re
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2:01 $0.99
7. Clap
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3:05 $0.99
8. Georgia on My Mind
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2:16 $0.99
9. Gymnopedie No. 3
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2:12 $0.99
10. Estrellita
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2:07 $0.99
11. Etude No. 11
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4:35 $0.99
12. Make You Feel My Love
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3:17 $0.99
13. Choros
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2:06 $0.99
14. Bossa Triste
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3:29 $0.99
15. I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face
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2:45 $0.99
16. Danny Boy
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2:47 $0.99
17. What a Wonderful World
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2:29 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Songs of the Martin captures the simple beauty of an elegant instrument crafted nearly two-centuries ago and rescued from an attic grave. The opening song of Paul McCartney’s candid “Blackbird,” is made new again on this Martin guitar. The lively “Clap” recalls the amazing fingerwork of both its composer, guitarist Steve Howe, and the legendary player it honors, Chet Atkins. McCormick deftly draws out the longing of love in a delicate rendition of “Georgia on My Mind.” Perhaps the standout track, Bob Dylan’s “Make You Feel My Love” evokes an intimacy that can only be found on the solo guitar.

The familiar sounds of the twentieth century are punctuated with remembrances of the beauty of the guitar repertoire from days past. Dreamy, reflective works like Sor’s "Etude No. 11" and waltzes of Mertz and Tarrega recall the colorful history of the guitar and delightful intimacy of its sound. McCormick masterfully coaxes a variety of sounds from the guitar; from gentle, reflective songs to energetic, lively dances. His artistry and skill as a guitarist shine forth in this third solo guitar album.

A critically acclaimed performer and award-winning composer, Kevin McCormick has been playing guitar for over 35 years. He has studied and performed in Italy, Japan and throughout the United States. He was recognized by the Guitar Foundation of America for his solo guitar composition “Desert Passage.” McCormick resides in Texas where he continues to compose, perform and teach. Previous solo guitar recordings include Americas (2007) and Solo Guitar (2004).


Reviews


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Andrea Guy

Stunning Acoustic Guitar Music!
Kevin McCormick’s album, Songs Of The Martin is about more than just the compositions he’s chosen to record for the album. It’s about the instrument he’s chosen to play them on. In fact, the C.F. Martin “DeGoni” guitar that he plays is really the star of the show. How could it not be, it’s an original made in the 1840s!

With Songs Of The Martin, Kevin hands the listener a beautiful and eclectic collection of guitar music, from pop standards that will be familiar to every ear to more classical pieces. Kevin’s guitar playing will definitely keep even the most casual of listeners enchanted.

The album opens with a true classic: Lennon/McCartney’s White Album tune, “Blackbird”. This song gives the listener all the proof needed to know that Kevin is a master at his craft. If a song like “Blackbird” is played as an instrumental and it still retains its integrity, then it is being played well. In this case it’s being played more then well. It seems as though the guitar is singing the words. Kevin and the Martin pay
proper homage to the classic track. Another familiar tune that Kevin gives the royal treatment to is “What A Wonderful World,” a song made famous by the inimitable Louis Armstrong. It’s hard to listen to this song without hearing that bluesy voice singing, but Kevin and the Martin turn it into a lullaby.

It’s not the pop tunes, however that catch the listener’s ear the most. The simple “Etude 22” by Napoleon Coste draws you in with the intricacy of the fingering. The music played is light and airy and at times gentle. “Vals En Re” is another classical composition that McCormick tackles. Composed by Francisco Tarrega, this guitar waltz will conjure images of senors and senoritas dancing the night away.

Regardless of what type of music Kevin is playing, be it a jazzy number like “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face” or something folksy like Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train”, the listener can’t help but be impressed. Probably the most stunning track chosen for this album is Steve Howe’s “Clap”, which has roots in ragtime and country blues. The Irish anthem “Danny Boy” is such a sad tune, but with the way Kevin plays it some of the melancholy is lost and it seems more hopeful. On songs like this it’s easy to imagine Kevin lovingly caressing the strings of the Martin. The playing comes across as soft, almost whispering into the ear.

After only one listen it’s easy to tell that Kevin McCormick is a man who not only has a great talent but is comfortable with playing a variety of styles. With music on Songs Of The Martin spanning two hundred years, he certainly had numerous compositions to choose from and it seems that he’s chosen the best of the best.

Let yourself be drawn into the beauty of seventeen songs played on a guitar that is over one hundred years old. It’s a listening experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Review by Andrea Guy