Akira Otsuka | First Tear

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
Jethro Burns John Duffey Sam Bush

More Artists From
United States - Washington DC

Other Genres You Will Love
Country: Progressive Bluegrass Country: Bluegrass Moods: Type: Acoustic
There are no items in your wishlist.

First Tear

by Akira Otsuka

Exciting and innovative mandolin playing across several genres.
Genre: Country: Progressive Bluegrass
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
cd in stock order now
Share to Google +1

Tracks

Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

To listen to tracks you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Sorry, there has been a problem playing the clip.

  song title
share
time
download
1. White Orchid
Share this song!
X
2:01 $0.99
2. Touch of Time
Share this song!
X
4:04 $0.99
3. Daddy Long Legs Dodging Raindrops
Share this song!
X
5:59 $0.99
4. Pink Special #3
Share this song!
X
5:25 $0.99
5. Bash
Share this song!
X
4:23 $0.99
6. Prince George's Mandolin
Share this song!
X
1:24 $0.99
7. Node 18 Conversion
Share this song!
X
2:31 $0.99
8. Long Black Jacket
Share this song!
X
3:49 $0.99
9. Evanston Slide
Share this song!
X
1:01 $0.99
10. Line Drive
Share this song!
X
2:53 $0.99
11. Blue
Share this song!
X
2:51 $0.99
12. Time for New Green
Share this song!
X
3:40 $0.99
13. Heartaches
Share this song!
X
3:52 $0.99
14. First Tear
Share this song!
X
1:28 $0.99
preview all songs

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In the summer of 1971 the American bluegrass music scene received a surprise. The Bluegrass 45, a young band from Japan created new sounds that made "our" music truly International. It was obvious the band was well versed in traditional bluegrass, but when they played "Take 5" by jazz great Dave Brubeck, the music was forever changed. Particularly impressive was mandolinist Akira Otsuka. We mandolin pickers in the Bean Blossom, IN audience were impressed with how fast & clean he could pick and play with taste.

Now 40 years later, Akira still plays with that same drive & passion. His compositions are engaging and beautifully arranged. While giving nods to his heroes, John Duffey & Jethro Burs, it's clear that Akira's style is his own. Now the rest of the world can realize what the Washington D.C. area has known for so long..... what a wonderful musician Akira Otsuka is.

—Sam Bush



Reviews


to write a review

Joe Ross

Memorable mandolin statements full of character, content & concision
Mandomaniacs and acoustic music lovers far and wide will rejoice in knowing that Akira Otsuka has released his first solo album project, “First Tear.” The eclectic mandolin player’s name is well known among aficionados of that instrument. In fact, Otsuka-san is a frequent contributor of helpful information and advice on the Mandolin Café forum. Born and raised in Japan, Akira took up mandolin at age 15. His brothers played guitar and banjo. In 1967, Akira and his brother Tsuyoshi (aka “Josh”) teamed with a couple other brothers (Saburo and Toshio Watanabe) to form “The Bluegrass 45” and play a small club called Lost City in Kobe, Japan. After Dick Freeland (owner of Rebel Records) came to Japan and heard their music, the band was invited to perform at several U.S. bluegrass festivals from June-Sept. 1971.

During this time, Akira met and befriended mandolin legend John Duffey who produced two LPs for The Bluegrass 45. Akira settled in the Washington, D.C. area and also helped Duffey’s band, The Seldom Scene, when they toured Japan in 1985 and 1991. After the passing of Duffey in December 1996, Akira came to own two of Duffey’s mandolins that are featured on this album – “The Duck” mandolin built by Duffey, and a Gibson F-12 mandolin built in the early 1950s. Dedicating his solo album to the memories of both John and Nancy Duffey, this fine mandolin player demonstrates technique, taste and tonality on material ranging from bluegrass to new acoustic, jazz to soft rock.

Otsuka gets long, beautiful sustain on slower numbers like the opening cut, “White Orchid,” and “Prince George’s Mandolin.” Performed solo, “Evanston Slide” is dedicated to Jethro Burns. “Pink Special #3” features melodic musical conversations between mandolin and guitar. A live 1998 cut of “Heartaches” from a John Duffey Tribute Show at the Birchmere (Alexandria, Va.) is a crowd-pleaser. Akira pulls in many of his musical pals, with the album featuring seven guitarists, four bassists, three fiddlers, two banjo-players, and three vocalists. You can’t go wrong with the likes of Tony Rice or David Grier on guitar, Eddie Adcock or Mike Munford on banjo, or Rickie Simpkins on fiddle. Throughout the project, however, it’s always Akira Otsuka who is making the memorable mandolin statements full of character, content and concision. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)