Following on from the success of Preston's highly acclaimed album, Handwritten Notes, he's back with his first new album since 2000 HISTORY OF NOW
History of Now, according to Preston Reed is a collection of new compositions written since 2000 along with some old favourites that may not have been available before. And what a collection it is. For those not familiar with him, Preston Reed hails from New York State and has recorded 13 albums since 1979. Now based in Europe, Preston composes and plays all of his own work on a range of guitars, from steel string acoustic, solid body electric, semi-acoustic, 12-string and classical (amongst others).
His work encompasses many genres and this is quite apparent on his latest work. From the bluesy stlyings of early Rhythm and Blues to Ballads to Jazz to Rock to a wider World feel, History of Now really shows Preston at his best. With flavours of Robert Johnson, Mike Oldfiled (circa Guitars release) and Ry Cooder, History of Now is an emotional rollercoaster. The opening track, Dead Cool starts the album off with a definite flavour of what to expect. Excellent playing, fantastic melodies and a range of sound that showcases Preston's abilities. From the frenetic Twang Thang and Corazon to the beautiful ballad stylings of False Spring and Woman In The Tower, History of Now is highly recommended for those that like well played instrumental music with passion. History of Now is available on the Outer Bridge Records label.
CD Review by David Bryan
Reviewed on 02 October 2005
History Of Now is the first release in five years from the highly innovative and individual guitarist Preston Reed. An early disciple of John Fahey and Leo Kottke he's developed into a genuinely original instrumentalist with his concurrent melodic and rhythmic lines and percussive two-handed attack on fretboard and body. Yet Reed is far more than a man of mere technique. History is evocative and vivid, with an understated beauty and a Ry Cooder-like sense of atmospherics in places. His recent collaborations with Arild Anderson and others show a broader and more reflective composer and interpreter than previous, yet brilliant, acoustic-only explorations such as Metal and Handwritten Notes.
'Hit The Ground Running' is fuelled with a wonderful, orchestral rhythmic bluster and high-range melodic jangling while 'Signal Path' has an infectiously folky hand-patting, hammer-on/pull-off groove. 'Chord Melody' recalls the harmonic warmth of Jim Hall which contrasts with the dazzling funk-blues of 'Corazon'.
Originally hailing from New York State, USA, but now living in Europe Preston Reed is one of those guitarists who is as well a melody man, a guitarist/composer and percussionist who creates on his own a fully one man band. Through the years he released some 13 albums, including Metal, Ladies Night, Handwritten Notes and Instrument Landing. His new CD, History of Now, contains as well some new arranged pieces of other albums as some exceptional well new composed works. Preston Reed's remarkable talent was also praised by the late Michael Hedges and other colleagues in the acoustic guitar circuit. When one at first listens
to one of Preston Reed's CD's one gets the impression at least 3 guitars are played in a trio setting, but Preston does as well the bass, melody and percussion part all by himself. He plays as well acoustic, classical as electric
guitars, but most of his fans will see him as a gifted musician who is as well a creator of atmosphere as a phenomenal technical skilled guitarist/ composer. Groove is one of the ingredients of his music which makes his music so attractive and one feels the chemistry with a listener as on Dead Cool, a very appealing track with a superb approach to acoustic guitar music. Signal Path is full of hammer on and pulling of and slapping and tapping techniques. The captivating ballad Woman in the Tower, reveals the composing talent of this guitar virtuoso, in an intimate and touching ambiance. Chord Melody, a track which covers jazzy chord changes in another magnificent composed
piece of art. The melancholic interpretation of False Spring takes one on an adventurous lazy trip in many moving sound escapades. Lost Time, with a bluesy setup with a jazzy coating is breathtaking. History of Now shows the
diversity and versatility of one of the most talented guitarists in the acoustic guitar circuit.
Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews (Netherlands)