Roger Lasley | Duck and Let the Wave Go By

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Doc Watson John Fahey Leo Kottke

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Country: Country Folk Folk: Modern Folk Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Duck and Let the Wave Go By

by Roger Lasley

These elegantly played acoustic guitar instrumentals will leave you grinning and begging for more. Mighty fine.
Genre: Country: Country Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wind in the Field
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3:02 $0.99
2. Black and Tan
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2:55 $0.99
3. Dinner in the Ground
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3:26 $0.99
4. Dance of the Snowflakes
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3:06 $0.99
5. Landscape with Children
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2:20 $0.99
6. Combat Waltzing
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2:35 $0.99
7. Raining Gravel
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3:08 $0.99
8. Duck and Let the Wave Go By
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1:47 $0.99
9. Trying on Shoes
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2:22 $0.99
10. Things to Do Today
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2:30 $0.99
11. St. Anne's Reel
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2:59 $0.99
12. Kickin' Cats
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3:47 $0.99
13. Coffee Break
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2:09 $0.99
14. 34th Cavalry
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2:16 $0.99
15. Bill Cheatham
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2:12 $0.99
16. Freddy in the Congo
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2:21 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
If you like good guitar music, you’re in the right place--cool tunes for acoustic guitar written and played by a “top-notch guitar picker.”

Grounded in traditional musical forms, Lasley’s compositions are complex but melodic, by turns lyrical and aggressive. His CDs showcase over 100 new standards for acoustic guitar. He crafts tunes people remember and he plays them with an energy that commands your attention. Let his signature flatpick style be your guide through an exciting new guitar repertoire. You won’t regret it.

Influenced by American traditional guitarists like Norman Blake and Doc Watson and by instrumental music from a variety of genres including baroque music, Celtic dance, Texas swing, early rock, bluegrass, flamenco, and mountain music, Roger’s goal is to craft new tunes that bear repeating. His music is a happy blend of compositional artistry and schooled technique. Roger’s audience is made up of instrumental music lovers who don’t play guitar and are there for the music and guitarists who exclaim “You’re flatpicking that?!”

Shortly after taking up the guitar in 1960, Roger began performing at local festivals. Loved and respected by audiences and musicians for his chops, delivery and wit, he played lead guitar for a succession of dance bands during the 60s and 70s. Migrating from the electric to the acoustic guitar in the 1970s, he went on to develop his signature style of solo flatpick guitar. Lasley has wowed acoustic music aficionados in a variety of venues throughout the upper Midwest. His local guitar legend status was geographically upgraded through appearances on Iowa and Minnesota Public Radio (Live from Studio One, The Prairie Home Companion Show, etc.) during the 70s, 80s and 90s. He continues to compose and perform and now dances like a butterfly for an even wider audience on his beautifully recorded CDs. “Lasley is a true original, like Fahey and the other strange guitarists.”


What Cheer Road
Duck and Let the Wave Go By
Dinner on the Ground
Walking Backwards
Unpainted, Unfinished, Unstained
Another Fall
Flatpick Vacation


Roger’s first CD, “What Cheer Road”: “Sounds like his fingers can do whatever his brain wishes them to do; refreshing felicity in service of tunefulness harbored in traditional forms but not moored to them; recording quality is terrific--timbral range jaw-dropping.” Chris Drumm trade newsletter.

Roger’s third CD, “Dinner on the Ground”: “…this worthy disciple of Leo Kottke, Doc Watson and John Fahey has released a series of beautifully recorded, elegantly played solo acoustic guitar discs. They’re all gorgeous.” Iowa City Press-Citizen.

“Lasley's first three CDs (and I'll be reviewing his latter four shortly) are of consistently high quality, and I'd advise guitar aficionados to pick them up for the music and other players to grab them for the wealth of new tunes which they might readily borrow (with proper credit, of course) for their own repertoire. Despite being solo guitar albums, there's a lot of variety…” Rambles a cultural art magazine.

"Ace Minnesota guitarist and his big ol' Martin show that a good flatpicker can match fingerpicking any day in a set of excellent original pieces ranging from the laidback to the seriously rocking, with next to no overdubs. Bert Weedon was never like this!" fRoots, no.274, April 2006, reviewing “Adobe”.

“The eighth album from Minnesota’s best-kept secret and his big Martin guitars, this shares with its predecessors lovely, relaxed flatpicking and strong original tunes with bits of blues and country. There’s a welcome absence of flash for its own sake – what you get here is a supremely confident set of tunes with great good humour. Who needs fingers?” fRoots, no. 314/315, August/September 2009, reviewing “Flatpick Vacation.



to write a review


Flatpicking guitarist Roger Lasley exhibits fine performance and composition ski
There are too many Roger Lasleys and at the same time there aren't enough. Lasley is a fine flatpicking guitarist who writes nearly all of his own material, and who produces his own CDs -- seven of them since 2001. Such prolificacy evinces a (well-placed) faith in his own talents and the determination to keep on keeping on, writing new music and continuing to hone one's craft while at the same time sharing his work with those savvy enough to seek it out and with taste enough to appreciate it.
I say there are too many Lasleys because there are hundreds, even thousands of musicians of this high caliber who are doomed to be heard by only a small if appreciative audience, and I say there aren't enough because of the huge vapid pit that's laughingly called popular music in this country. The caliber of Lasley's playing and compositional skills should be sufficient to get him a berth on a small independent label, but no one ever said life is fair. Perhaps he's better off producing himself, writing and playing the things he wants to, and reaching an audience who enjoys work created without the fetterings of commercial claptrap.
Lasley's first three CDs (and I'll be reviewing his latter four shortly) are of consistently high quality, and I'd advise guitar aficionados to pick them up for the music and other players to grab them for the wealth of new tunes which they might readily borrow (with proper credit, of course) for their own repertoire. Despite being solo guitar albums, there's a lot of variety, as may be seen in the first few tracks of the first album, What Cheer Road. Lasley goes from a simple waltz to a strong rhythmic tune to what sounds like finger-picking arpeggios. "That Manicured Look" is the first of many tracks with two guitars. These occasional multi-tracked duets add richness and a fuller sound to the mix. Lasley has a flair for the traditional, as in an intricate "Brown's Ferry Blues" -- he keeps lot of balls in the air on this one -- and in his inventive variations on "Frankie and Johnny."
Lasley's playing seems stronger on his second album, Duck & Let the Wave Go By. The first track portends a more serious approach to his compositions, and "Landscape with Children" continues the complexity, a very quirky and unpredictable tune. There's some program music here, with "Combat Waltzing" a vivid depiction of clunky feet dancing, and "Trying on Shoes" humorously portrays the struggle of trying to fit too big feet into too small shoes. The last track, "Freddy in the Congo," is a dandy duet that keeps on rolling despite the odds. There is the occasional tune, like "Dance of the Snowflakes," that seems almost too simple for Lasley's chops, single-line work with a regular chordal accent, but these pieces, though not as exciting, contrast nicely with the more difficult and intricate tunes.
Dinner on the Ground seems even more assertive and self-assured. Lasley breaks some new ground in the blues-based "Sidestep," which also is tinged with jazz. "Fool's Gold" is a more stately tune than any we've heard before, sounding as though it came from the 18th-century repertoire. The deft use of harmonics makes it sound in spots like a harpsichord, and the classical sense is equally strong in the composition's use of theme and variations. The sole disappointment here is "Jerusalem Ridge," in which the Bill Monroe tune is simplified and its more jagged and interesting edges smoothed out, but the CD ends perfectly with a hopping boogie-woogie style tune, "Guitar Bounce."
There are plenty more tracks on Lasley's first three CDs, 47 in all, and he's written the lion's share and then some. His compositional skills are strong and his playing is more than fine enough to give aural life to his inner musical visions. For the continuing story of top-notch guitar picker Roger Lasley, watch this space.
by Chet Williamson
21 January 2006