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CHRIS NEWMAN Still Getting Away With It

Still Getting Away With It

Old Bridge Music  OBMCD19

A seriously gaping abyss of 12 years since his last solo album, Chris Newman returns triumphant with a concise exercise in the art of acoustic guitar playing. As usual a wide variety of styles are showcased here, from ragtime and swing guitar to Irish airs, Québecois tunes, Swedish polkas, country and African crossover. Luckily for me, I love all of these guitar styles, and I’m fully conscious that I’m in the presence of greatness here – 18 instrumental tracks (10 of which are self-penned and a further five his arrangements of traditional tunes), and all of them chosen with care and relish by one of the top guitarists of his ilk anywhere. The supporting cast ain’t bad either, including Simon Mayor, Arty McGlynn, Máire Ní Chathasaigh (of course) and her sister Nollaig Casey, as well as Chris’s own brother Mark (also a fine guitarist). Even his electric contributions on Stratocaster belong on the same radar as the acoustic majority (the track Moanin’ is sublime).

Temptation Rag (or Temptation Bag if you were to believe everything the electronic files tell you) is easily my personal fave, but that owes more to the style that I like to play (or attempt to) than anything else. I could have singled out any of these tracks as they all have a particular charm and collectively demonstrate this artiste’s musical wizardry in the most succinct fashion. Lettin’ yer fingers do the talkin’ again, Chris. A cracker.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 87 of The Living Tradition magazine.