Dog Boy Records is pleased to announce the third solo guitar release by multi-instrumentalist Tom Ball.
On this new CD Ball tackles some of the most memorable film music ever composed. Alongside new arrangements of such beloved pieces as Over the Rainbow, Manhá de Carnaval and Yesterday, the guitarist has also chosen several lesser known obscurities such as the sublime Wild Mountain Thyme and the hauntingly radiant themes to Once Upon a Time in the West and To Kill a Mockingbird.
In addition to the varied material, another standout aspect of this recording is the use of a vintage steel stringed instrument -- in this case a 1936 Gibson. While other players have recorded some of these pieces on the classical (nylon string) guitar, very few of these selections have ever been rendered on steel strings. The result is an ultra-warm resonance, with an unusual clarity of attack and an often shimmering presence.
Expertly played and recorded with tube microphones over the span of a year, Solo Guitar ~ Music From Films transports the listener to a musical world where Catalan composers can live next door to Celtic harpers; where contemporary Hollywood film scorers shake hands with Bahamian street musicians; and where Tin Pan Alley can peacefully exist within the favelas of Rio. Once again, in Tom Ball’s capable hands it’s all simply guitar music -- and fine guitar music indeed.
(Santa Barbara Independent, 12/13/07:)
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN STRINGS: Tom Ball, we thought we knew ye. Yes, Ball is known far and wide as an internationally respected master blues harp player, and half of the cherished duo Tom Ball and Kenny Sultan. But Ball is also a masterful guitar player, with a penchant for creating unique finger-picking arrangements on steel string guitar. Now sporting a solo guitar discography three titles deep, Ball has reminded us of this secret love again with his new one, Solo Guitar – Music From Films (Dog Boy), a crisp-sounding and crisply-conceived project recorded at David West’s Studio Z.
Ball’s concept album will appeal to fans of smartly outfitted acoustic guitar and film music, of Hollywood and “art” camps. He includes “Over the Rainbow” and the Beatles tune “Yesterday” (heard in Help!), but also moves in surprising directions through movie music’s annals. It may be a natural fit hearing “Manha de Carnaval - aka the popular “Black Orpheus” — and Ry Cooder’s theme for Walter Hill’s The Long Riders together. Less expected is his version of the theme from To Kill a Mockingbird by the late, great, longtime Santa Barbaran Elmer Bernstein.
Retro TV fans will involuntarily grin hearing Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette,” the darkly perky theme song to Alfred Hitchcock Presents. The great Ennio Morricone is the only composer on here with more than one treatment, both from the composer’s warmly romantic side rather than his kitsch side — the themes to Il Maestro e Margherita and Once Upon a Time in the West. Ball does refreshing wonders with movie themes-cum-jazz real book chestnuts — “Secret Love” (from Calamity Jane, of all things) and Jerome Kern’s “The Way You Look Tonight” (from Swing Time).
Have no fear: Ball still sings and plays the country blues with the best of ’em. But guitar-wielding detours such as this are pure delights for the ears and soul.
Santa Barbara Independent