Superhuman acoustic guitar playing was de rigueur
for the New Age music of the 1980s and '90s, though personality often suffered at the expense of technical ability. Only a few artists:, such as Leo Kottke
and Michael Hedges
were able to float as cream to the top of a pile of wannabes, all who could play perfectly
, but with absolutely no spirit.
On Antoine Dufou's fifth solo CD, Sound Pictures
the guitarist plays his own composition, "Spiritual Groove," before an audience. Technically splendid and captured with crystalline sonic clarity, the piece displays all of the percussive and harmonic tricks that make solo acoustic guitar both interesting and compelling. Dufour is more than capable in dispatching even the most complex melodic lines while making them sound as if Byron were throwing off verses at will.