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Cameron Mizell & Charlie Rauh — Local Folklore
(Bandcamp Destiny Records no#, 2021, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2021-12-08

Local Folklore Cover art

Mizell and Rauh are East Coast based guitarists with an instinctive predeliction for warmth and melody in a world where folk meets classical with an ever so slight touch of blues, and in the case of the ten songs presented on Local Folklore, it’s an entirely instrumental endeavor without lyrics or vocals. It serves as a follow-up to Rauh and Mizell’s previous 2019 album together What We Have in Common (though I must confess I haven’t heard that one as of this writing), although each of them individually have many recordings to their credit. Throughout Mizell and Rauh play acoustic steel string guitars, with Mizell occasionally playing electric (though one would almost need to look at the credits to know that), and likewise the two share production credits, mixing by Mizell and mastering by Rauh, the writing credits split equally between the two. One might be tempted into easy comparisons when describing these pieces, and a good start might be in the early work of Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, Ralph Towner, and similarly inclined players, but since they are a duo, the possibilities are more extensive, and the folky-bluesy element might even recall John Fahey at times. The set opens with Mizell’s lively and brisk title track, a feast of dueling guitars underscoring the melodic. “Petey & Kyle” is next up, Rauh’s gentle and visionary guitar poem that mixes warmth and beauty. The early pieces are essentially vignettes with a number of repeats and variations, but later cuts like Rauh’s “A Single Cloth” and Mizell’s “On Sundays I Walk Alone” are more extended epics that cover a bit more territory. Other standouts include the beautiful “Greenwood Waltz” and the interlude “A Forgiving Sort of Place,” the latter being the shortest piece in the set, but unique in many ways. Local Folklore is one of those albums that invites the listener back for many repeat plays.

Filed under: New releases, 2021 releases

Related artist(s): Charlie Rauh, Cameron Mizell

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