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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
  Into the Unknown by Joseph L Young, reviewed by Artisan Music Reviews on 10/26/2022
  FIRE by Sukha, reviewed by Artisan Music Reviews on 7/29/2022
  The Golden Age by Damon Buxton, reviewed by R J Lannan on 10/2/2019
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The Golden Age
By Damon Buxton
Label: Many Miles Music
The Godlen Age
Damon Buxton
The Golden Age

I have reviewed Damon Buxton a number of times and generally, his music runs to the metaphysical rather than the physical. On The Golden Age, his musings turn to energizing Spanish motifs, vivid travelogues, and the oftentimes imperceptible value of relationships. The album is fourteen tracks of contemporary guitar. Most of it solo, but with a few blandishments along the way. Buxton has always been in my top ten for the world’s best modern guitarists. His music tends to be esoteric rather than mundane. It makes you think. It makes you calm, and it makes you feel. He has a gift for musical textures. Take the first cut on The Golden Age, a track called Mistral. The word actually means The Master, although sometimes it is used to describe fierce winds in the south of France. This is about mastery, and the fierceness in this song is the strength of character in the embolden melody. Paying homage to Paco de Lucia, Buxton gets perfect the dynamic qualities of light flamenco that de Lucia made famous.
Saint Charles Place is one of the more intriguing stories on the album. Starting out with a short, raw accordion riff, the song takes life in a story that started somewhere across the Atlantic in a little Italian shop more than half a century ago. Suffice it to say the music makes friends wherever it goes. The guitar seems to make the journey with a great deal of energy.
The title track, The Golden Age is a nod to something that is at the height of its existence. The best there ever was. The best that it ever will be. It is not hard to believe that Damon’s tune is, in essence, a love song. The tone is plaintive, emotional, and quite memorable.
Nightingale is a favorite on the album. Damon’s Nightingale theme can be heard over much of life’s background noise to give us a sense of peace and calm. I refer to the theory of the Urban Nightingale. It is worth referencing. As with all music, we are hoping for the quietude, that aural distraction that will unburden us for a short while. This song is the medicine.
Confidant (Cassie’s Song) has that fingerstyle that sounds simple but never is. Like the subject matter, the song has secrets never to be revealed. The melody has a certain flow sometimes heard in Hawaiian slack key guitar and I liked it for that. The tune has a reprise on the album that is just as enjoyable. One of the more fanciful tunes on The Golden Age is called Vespa Capri. Think of it as a happy wasp on vacation. The tune is bright, sunny, and with a tropical feel. I have no explanation for Two By Two except that I really liked the tune. It has a methodical tempo that lets you visualize people walking abreast or Noah loading up the ark. It is whimsical and light.
The final tune is called Celestial Spheres. Putting Pythagorean theories aside for a bit, it is a much evolved tune. One full of light and energy. It seemed to be a bit more elaborate than the rest, but it was dynamic in its rendering of movement. Through Damon’s tune we witnessed the humming of the planets as it was represented in the main theme. Globes twirled in vast regions of the imagination. Dark became light and time meant very little.
Guitarist Damon Buxton to date has released nine albums and several compilations. He is a man in search of the lost chord, the wayward riff, the precise application of music. The Golden Age is a beginning for him. And we are all privileged to accompany him on his musical journey. Lucky for us, there will always be great music for the trip. Highly recommended.
- R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by R J Lannan on 10/2/2019
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