Thursday, May 13, 2021

Acoustic Works Volume 3 By Mike Ian


Acoustic Works Volume 3


Mike Ian

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The colourful work of Mike Ian is once again in great abundance around us all as we listen to Acoustic Works Volume 3, the latest in fine acoustic performances by the artist on his most trusty guitar.

The start of this release is the full flowing opus entitled Open Road; this sun kissed reverie is full of positivity and natural major chord progressions, and the latter half of this most bright of opening forays, even had a slight Beatles feel to the conclusion of the piece as well, the perfect opener indeed.

One of my favourite tracks would turn out to be Thy Jester's Fate full of glorious sixteenth century energy. One could drift back through the annals of time to enjoy such a piece, and a track that reminded me in parts of something, that the new age of Ritchie Blackmore might enjoy performing too.

I have a question, May I Have This Dance? Why thank you, and as we glide across the floor one can feel the warmth of a new and exciting love growing from within the music, a beautiful performance on acoustic can be had here, one that flows with passion, and also mixed quite brilliantly with a heartfelt embrace as well.

Far from the lands where I live, there is a place I have wondered if I would ever visit, it has held a great fascination for me, and called Sedona. This is such a light composition, it is one that you could leave on all afternoon and not notice, and the slide effect added a wonderfully glowing energy to the music as well.

Nothing like a little rag to liven things up, and Ian, with his fun packed ditty entitled 12th Street Rag does just that, and leads us perfectly into the next piece called, West Of The Moon, a track with such a wonderful sense of movement and texture to its construction, it is a delight to hit the repeat button with.

Although we are a long way off, the months of the fall are some of my favourite, and Autumn Dew has to be one of the nicest tracks I have heard that depicts this time of many changes. The performance is reflective but crisp, and one that seems through its tone to radiate a multitude of colour all around us, a truly marvellous offering indeed.

There was a certain depth to Canyon Song that I loved; the slowness of the tempo also added a lazy feel to the mood, this chilled composition just seems to flow like a gentle summer stream from the artist’s guitar with such great ease.

Changing the mood is done with great simplicity here, as we come across the next song entitled Skippin' Town; its finger picking style reminds me of acoustic performer Bob Ardern in flavour. The fluency of this piece is exciting and brings a superb sense of onward movement to the offering.

Now, 1300 miles north of me is a country that features in this next quite beautiful song, and is entitled Strings of Belarus. The mood is captured perfectly here with a slow and almost sensual performance by the artist, which portrays the Eastern European counties rich and colourful history with such style.

A more folk styled ethic can be found on this next piece entitled Missouri Grains. There is a sense of summer here in this composition that gives a wide open musical field and lands for the listener to roam within. The gentle and caring presentation here is something to truly enjoy.

The title of this next piece came up the other day in a TV show I watch and called Pig in a Poke, but I will let you have fun exploring that on the net. In the meantime Mike Ian creates another fun musical narrative for us to enjoy, before we reach the penultimate offering off the album.

That last but one composition is called And in the End, the arrangement is slow and as easy as Sunday morning, and Ian’s warmth of performance will brighten your day with this cheer filled narrative.

So finally we can knock on the door of the last track off this 14 piece album and is called Journey's End, with the slide and percussive additions we have once again a little more of a folk styled ethic upon our table to enjoy, but the compositional structure and its lightness in depth and arrangement, make this a divine way to end what has been quite a breath taking journey of acoustic magic.

Acoustic Works Volume 3 by Mike Ian is the album that the acoustic genre needed; it is a shot in the arm, using the energies of positivity, production quality and sublime performances that we have needed for quite some time, and the wonderfully fluent and classy presentations upon this highly rated release should be extremely popular with fans of really good music, who simply want their day lifted and their musical souls filled with joy.

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