Ken Hatfield: String Theory (2006)
Ken Hatfield's embrace of his country backgroundhe was raised in Norfolk, Virginia and claims the famous Hatfields of the Hatfields and McCoy saga as his forebearershas resulted in his finest work to date, one that walks a line between surface simplicity and complex depths. The thirteen-part "Snowhill Variations," a solo guitar suite, was inspired by a story from Thomas Mann; "Borges & I," in seven parts, takes as its inspiration seven different stories from the pen of the Argentine magic realist; and the title tune, in three parts, ruminates on the concept of a the grand unifying theory of physics, via the strings of guitar and mandolin.
A knowledge of the sources of Ken Hatfield's inspirations, though facinating, is unecessary to appreciate this music. The music stands tall on its own, classical guitar with a country twang, mixed in with some mandolin and dobroa sophisticated yet accessible Americana sound.
Track Listing: The Gospel According to Sam (three parts); Snowhill Variations (twelve parts); String Theory (three parts); Borges & I (seven parts).
Personnel: Ken Hatfield: classical guitar, dobro, mandolin.
Record Label: Arthur Circle Music
Style: Beyond Jazz