Willowglass — Willowglass
((Not on label) WGCD001, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2006-05-01Willowglass is the solo project of Andrew Marshall who has opted for the D.I.Y. approach to his debut recording. Helping him out is drummer Dave Brightman, a move that spares the listener programmed drums typical in one-man-show efforts like this. Marshall proves himself to be proficient on keyboards, guitars (electric and acoustic), bass as well as flute though whether or not he can sing remains to be seen as this album is entirely instrumental. He won’t turn any heads with blazing solos and fiery technique, though that’s not due to lack of skill. Rather, he seems to be intentionally going for a more pastoral and broadly symphonic approach, perhaps influenced by the Yorkshire countryside he calls home. The musical reference points won’t be hard to spot, namely Anthony Phillips and the more pastoral side of classic Genesis, reaching all the way back to songs like “Stagnation”. Mike Oldfield may also have been an influence, at least his technique for building long-form instrumental works. When the flute and Mellotrons crank up one can also detect similarities with older Italian sympho groups and the more intense guitar solos reveal time spent listening to IQ’s Mike Holmes. The writing throughout is solid, the playing exceptional, and the production clean so there’s not much to dislike about this album unless you just don’t care for classic symphonic prog or anything overtly retro. There’s already a surplus of quality albums of this sort on the market, though this is still good enough to earn a recommendation.
Related artist(s): Willowglass
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more