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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Richard Cummins
URL: www.richardcummins.com www.myspace.com/richardcumminsmusic
Label: Electrotone - Indie
Time: 17 tracks/50:37
Canadian guitarist/composer/singer Richard Cummins is an artist that seems to almost have found his way onto the current scene by visiting from an alternate time-line where the best of classic Christian rock has just peaked. His inspirations lean more toward Larry Norman, Phil Keaggy and The Beatles than The Clash, Underoath or Switchfoot. Cummins has two projects available right now: one is a vocal pop album full of classic rock references, and the other, Wind Mill, is an instrumental album done in much the same vein as Phil Keaggy’s ‘loop’ projects.
On Wind Mill, armed
only with an acoustic Taylor guitar and a Boss RC-50 Loop Station, Cummins
has created seventeen tracks of fine improvisational composing and performing.
A word might be needed to explain the process: Cummins creates spontaneous
compositions on guitar and plays into a ‘loop station’ that will store
and repeat the recorded information, allowing layers of sound to be added
live and on-the-spot. By doing this, the player actually gets to ‘jam’
with himself (Keaggy’s hardware of choice is actually called the ‘JamMan’)
as rhythm, bass, percussion, melody lines, etc. are built up to create
a finished work.
“Givin’ Thanks” starts off the album with a quick riff against a pattering percussion and fast harmony lines tripping off the Taylor. It’s a short bit of a song that will have you thinking you put a Phil Keaggy album into your CD player by mistake. There’s gentleness about many of the songs here – the guitar fingering is light and dexterous, and many of the tunes conjure up an afternoon in the fields, an occasional light Celtic air, or even a suggestion of Middle-Eastern music, as in “Passage.” Songs like “Window Shopping in Fort Langley,” “Slow Dance,” “Fresh Bread,” “We All See the Rainbow,” and “Ocean,” all evoke a mood, and tend to stay with you, while delights like “Minor Problem” serve as tasty treats with clever fretwork and funky grooves.
Wind Mill is certainly
an impressive and enjoyable work, especially for those who play guitar
(or aspire to it) and for fans of Phil Keaggy’s instrumental work. Richard
Cummins has done an amazing thing: he’s stepped into Keaggy’s kitchen and
cooked up a fine musical meal using his own recipe book. For those interested
in this genre of instrumental music, I heartily recommend Richard Cummins’