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Guitarist Dan Lambert performs all original compositions in this hodge-podge of Celtic music, country, folk, blues, jazz, Indian music, and New Age. Every tune but one on The Clearing experiments with overdubbing to achieve a synergy between harmony and melody. It's straight guitar music, meticulously performed, very virtuostic, immaculately clean. Lambert experiments with tone and harmonics, but generally prefers the tried and true: a clear, ringing melody (often improvised) over arpeggiated or chordal accompaniment.
While The Clearing cannot be faulted for its execution, it does tend to voyage too far into the dangerous zone of New Age. That means unison notes are preferred to staggered arrangements. The bass note is always the root. Redundancy appears at every turn. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer music where economy plays a major role: repetition should always serve a purpose, and chordal organization should be sparse. Bass and harmony should be just as often implied as directly stated. When I hear a record like The Clearing, it makes me want to go into the music with a set of pruning shears and clear out all those extra notes. But lots of people find that simplistic, repetitive material is music to their ears. There are plenty of other elements present on this record which should provide interest and entertainment to those who have different standards for their music than myself.
Track Listing: Into the Mist; The Opening; For Those Left Behind; Telepathy; Tartan Swing; High Moors; The Way Home; Raga Pam; The Lone Piper; Rails Across the Atlantic; Solo Piano Fantasy; If Dogs Wore Hats; Festival on High Street; Melody for the End of the Day.