, I understand what he means: he is telling stories and conveying his deepest fe
Following in the footsteps of two of his guitar gods, Flamenco greats Paco de Lucia and Al diMeola, and of bluegrass icon Tony Rice, with a touch of the syncopated style of Ani diFranco, Tony Aglione, though di- and de- less, delivers an album of guitar-based, instrumental magic with “Life”. The producing is clear and crisp, and the sound is almost eerie on many of the songs, such as “Brotherhood”, like old Tom Waits anthem “Innocent When You Dream”, except they bring to mind tumbleweeds and saloons instead of Waits’ greasy spoons and New York City allies.
His slide playing is amazing on tracks like “Brotherhood”, harking back to the slippery lipstick-case-wielding drawl of Bonnie Raitt. Most impressive about this album is his use of a phrase loop pedal. Most of the songs on this album were recorded in a single take with only one track, looping rhythms and percussion on the pedal.
On his web site, Aglione seeks to introduce us to his music: “and welcome to a new world of music, the soundtrack to your daydreams, poetically phrased instrumental guitar that nourishes the soul, and aims to make the world a better place!”
New Jersey native Aglione started playing the guitar when he was 15, imitating metal songs. He was soon playing guitar, he says, 10 hours a day, though he took a hiatus from such intense study to get a Master’s Degree in biology, which got him his day job as a senior scientist at a top pharmaceutical company. An impressive resume for an impressive musician with an impressive new album.
“Body Heat” is another progressive, more-Flamenco-styled composition, with all the drama of a Clint Eastwood film. The layers on this album are very varied and mesh well to make a cohesive, directed well-conceived and beautifully voiced song out of every track.
“Life”, Aglione’s third album since his 1997 debut “Heart Songs”, was recorded to “create a luscious background for dream-like experience”, according to Aglione, who describes his songs as “musical poetry”. Though the album is meandering at times, like a bad Phish concert, after listening to his latest release, I understand what he means: he is telling stories and conveying his deepest feelings through his acoustic guitar.