Randal L Meek
The sound of an acoustic guitar played from the heart must be
one of the most expressive instruments to pay homage too, on this new 13 track
release Randal L Meek plays from his
heart to yours, and his new album entitled Longings
will find a similar motif of familiarity within each and every one of us with
an open mind to totally embrace life for what it really is, an experience.
I know many finger style guitarists, but when one speaks
guitar you probably have to work down from the king, Mr Will Ackerman, with that being said it is a joyful thing to know
that this marvellous album has been recorded and produced at Imaginary Road
studios, by the master and his court of accomplished artists.
Waves of Makena was for me a perfect opener, I have
just been for a walk to watch the winter waves of the ocean crash upon the
rocks and what a sight it is, in summer time it is a glorious view and this
wonderful presentation by Meek is simply idyllic, and its charm filled
narrative resonates with me in that moment.
On Goodbye the
masterful Charlie Bisharat joins Meek
in producing one of the most emotive pieces from the album, and this gentle, if
not tearful tune, is a reminder to say goodbye, and if you cannot do so, the
minor refrains in this piece will ease that furrowed brow with a sigh, so that
one may take solace in the good times once had. I must be totally honest, this
is rare, but I was moved to actual tears by this incredible offering.
Surround yourself with quality and the result of your
endeavours will be doubly so, to back that statement up listen to this next
offering entitled Mo'olio Place,
whilst I have never been to Hawaii I can imagine it to be not too dissimilar to
the paradise I call home here in Cyprus, and the calm that this specific
composition brings is something quite soothing and tranquil, and while we’re at
it lets pay tribute to Will Ackerman,
who features on this very offering.
I found this next arrangement fascinating, it is called Ice Tulip, and for some reason it
brought back many memories of different styles and genres from over many
decades, there was also a sense of happiness to this track that filled me with
glee, a spring time reverie indeed.
As we move ever onwards we come across this next piece
entitled Boulder Sunrise. This is a truly laid back offering, one that
also contains the masterful expertise of a certain Eugene Friesen, this slow but ever moving opus crawls over the top
of the ridge of the mountain as sunsets just love to do, with a maximum of
artistic expression; also pay note to the beautiful angelic vocalisations from Noah Wilding.
For some reason I felt compelled to play this one on repeat
for a while before writing about the said composition, I will be honest it
transfixed me, I drifted away into this world of complete and utter serenity,
if this is what Spirit Rising is
meant to do then it succeeded, featuring a deliciously sensitive bass courtesy
of Tom Eaton, this has to be one of
my favourite pieces off the album, in a track filled with a mournful repose,
but most importantly, hope.
I smile with joy, I love rivers and here we have a song about
one and called River Dream, which is
something I do; it does seem strange to me that a person like me who loves
rivers, now lives in a country where there are none, until our winter storms,
but I can dream, and I can do so to this charming offering, this is one of
those halcyon moments of utter musical bliss that one finds from time to time.
Desert Cathedrals fascinated me deeply; I admire the
artist that with guitar in hand, he originally created this piece whist sitting
of a southern rock cliff in Utah! The added violin segment from Bisharat was
stunning and added such a vastness to the proceedings.
There is always a point in an album that you feel that you
are being taken on a brand new journey of sorts. I found this laying within the
tranquil refrains of this next piece called Calm Skies. Ah such a blissful thought, just to lay in a summer
meadow and watch the peace of a lightly clouded sky drift by on a bed of Jasmin
wafted scents. Yes here represented for me a track of natural and outstanding beauty,
one that also contained the skill sets of both Ackerman and Friesen.
I can usually tell if I am into an album or not by realising
that I had forgotten to save the work I had done so far, so with that done it
was back to my romantic reveries with the acoustic brilliance of Randel L Meek and this glourious
sojourn into a whole universe of peace and harmony, which could also describe
this light-hearted song called Prairie
Our wonderful title track is up next and of course I am
referring to Longings. I looked at
the albums cover and thought to myself what a simple but so very effective piece
of art work, I spent many months sitting on a bench looking out at the ocean just like this, while I ruminated over sad
events in my past and turbulent troubles of yesteryear, all would eventually be
solved, but I remember it well, and for me Meeks sublime composition is almost
like the soundtrack for that very moment, a gentle performance, an artistic expression
of longing, just one more moment perhaps, but thankfully music is the panacea
that cures all ills and allows us to move on.
The penultimate track off this quite amazing new album is
called Dave's Song, a dedication to
a true friend no doubt and one performed with the lightness of an open heart
and a gentleness of spirit.
The journey has been a long, but an incredibly pleasant one,
and to conclude it we finalise our musical voyage with a track called Liliko'i, (Passion Fruit), this is probably one of the finest examples of
Meeks utter fluency and colourfully artistic genius as a guitarist and of
course a composer, a fine way to sum up this crafted collection of fine songs.
Longings by Randal L Meek in my view is one of the best acoustic guitar based
albums I think I have heard for the last few years, each song is penned with
such emotion and dedication to crafting just the perfect compositions to
represent his own expressions. Longings
by Randal L Meek is an album that I
am proud to have in my collection as I hope it will be yours too, this is
acoustic based guitar music at its very best.