476

Ton Van Bergeyk: Famous Fingerpicking Guitar Solos From the Golden Era of American Pop Music

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
Ton Van Bergeyk: Famous Fingerpicking Guitar Solos From the Golden Era of American Pop Music Ton Van Bergeyk is one of those artists who will forever toil in obscurity, known only amongst his fellow musicians as a true master—if he is recognized at all. Sadly, there isn't much demand for his style of music, and he will always be admired more for his complete mastery of finger-style guitar than for any of his musical contributions. Fortunately, Stefan Grossman has been reissuing hard-to-find gems, like this 1976 recording, on his Guitar Workshop label. With any luck, an audience will find Van Bergeyk's ample skills which, given the fact that they were largely ignored upon their release, deserve to be simply recognized rather than rediscovered.

Van Bergeyk, a byproduct of the fertile British folk guitar movement, has an appealing finger-style method that features a precise bass line and nimble counterpoint in the upper register. His playing has a bounce and joie de vivre to it that shows he has absorbed the feel of ragtime guitar and completely mastered the art of syncopation. Along with that, Van Bergeyk is the Fats Waller of the guitar, one who is able to take the most trivial of material and turn it into a musical gem.

The title of this Van Bergeyk record (one of two currently available) promises songs from the golden age of American pop music, but he may have a different definition of what the golden age is than most people, or at least has decided that there are some other songs he'd rather tackle than Gershwin and Porter. He pursues a selection of rags and novelty tunes (many transcribed from the original sheet music or the recordings of Fred Van Eps). All of them are wonderfully catchy and exuberant, from the spirited "Mustard Swing" and European stylings of "Zither Melodies," to the vaguely Carribean "Coconut Dance." All demonstrate the enthusiasm seen in Van Bergeyk's smile in the liner notes; this is a guy who plays music because he loves the expression it gives him.

Van Bergeyk makes the most finger-busting passages seem effortless, and if you doubt it, try playing the songs yourself. All but one are included in tablature as PDF files as part of the packages. If you're a guitarist, there's no doubt you'll want to give them a try. If you're merely a listener, you'll at least enjoy the guitar stylings of a guy who never really got his due.


Track Listing: Junk Man Rag; Mustard Swing; Zither Melodies; From Soup To Nuts; Kansas City Stomp; Rondo Caprice; Ragtime Medley: Bantam Step & Springtime Rag; Notoriety Rag; Medley: If I Had You & Moonlight Serenade; Jazz Me Blues; Divertisement; Georgia Grind; Coconut Dance; Florida Rag.

Personnel: Ton Van Bergeyk: guitar.

Title: Famous Fingerpicking Guitar Solos From the Golden Era of American Pop Music | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Unification CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "What's Wrong" CD/LP/Track Review What's Wrong
by John Sharpe
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Another Time: The Hilversum Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 3, 2017
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "Wee +3" CD/LP/Track Review Wee +3
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Okuden
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: June 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.