Exposé Online banner

Prester John — Desire for a Straight Line
(Innova 774, 2010, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2011-06-01

Desire for a Straight Line Cover art

Prester John this time is Shawn Persinger on acoustic guitar and David Miller on mandolin, weaving beautiful intertwining rhythms and melodies, with some amazing lead fretwork from both players as the two mix it up with a preponderance of chops. The smart and agile compositions seem to draw from ideas borne of a mix of jazz, bluegrass, classical, folk, and world music, with Persinger’s progressive rock roots never far from the surface. Working in 100% instrumental mode, each piece brims with spry wit and a fascination for exploration, combining concepts and styles into a brilliant result that is at once challenging but completely listenable. The guitar and mandolin occupy different ranges, and thus never get in the way of one another, but instead complement each other perfectly and allow the listener to focus on either or both. At times this might seem like a meeting between David Grisman and John McLaughlin exploring styles outside of their usual comfort zone. A few of the titles reference other players (Mike Sary, David Kerman, and Janet Feder), perhaps a nod to those who provided inspiration for the compositions? Don’t let the short length of this review dissuade you; some music is just too adroit for words. Instead, make a straight line to your favorite online music outlet and buy this one!


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Shawn Persinger (Prester John)

Latest news

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rick Wakeman - Past, Present and Future – At the outset, it would appear that reviewing three CDs of solo piano music from keyboardist Rick Wakeman would be a daunting task. While wrestling with the perception that the pianist can easily sit...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues