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Album Review: Wires Rosewood & Roots
Bob Ardern
Cover image of the album Wires Rosewood & Roots by Bob Ardern
Wires Rosewood & Roots
Bob Ardern
2012 / Bob Ardern
46 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
As its title suggests, Wires Rosewood & Roots is a collection of twelve instrumental pieces that feature acoustic guitar with and without the accompaniment of piano, cello, bass, and/or light percussion. Having grown up in the golden era of English folk music, Bob Ardern learned from some of the great names of the genre. He also studied Canadian and American roots music, incorporating those varied genres into his own unique style. On this album, Ardern focuses on the finger-style guitar playing that is the underlying essence of his music. Also a songwriter, this is Ardern’s third album. With great titles like “Waiting for McAfee” (yes, that McAfee!), “Palindrome,” and “Flea’s Reel,” this is no collection of melancholy love songs. Ardern prefers to find his inspiration in newspaper headlines, history books, and views outside his window, creating a soundtrack that takes the listener on a journey of emotions, delighting the senses as the music soothes and entertains. Along with traditional folk influences, Ardern’s music contains elements of Celtic, classical, and jazz styles.

Wires Rosewood & Roots begins with “Dusty’s Train,” a piece that evokes images of vast open spaces with tall grasses gracefully bending with breeze. The sweet “Skating” was inspired by a light-hearted ice dance across a frozen pond. David Findlay adds a simple but very effective counter-melody on the piano. “Scotch Rocks” is a favorite. It begins as a less-than-upbeat story, becoming rhythmic and easy-going, without a care in the world. “Pray For Rain” was born out of a drought in St. Lucia. Very much a folk song, it’s a gentle rain dance for guitar and keyboard. I also really like “Waiting for McAfee,” a lively little piece inspired by an online computer repair. Almost Baroque in nature, it’s a great alternative to staring at the computer screen feeling like nothing is happening! “Irish Mood” has a strong folk melody, and I suspect this charming guitar solo has witty lyrics. “Windrush” ends the album with a toe-tapper for guitar, bass, and percussion. Lively and blues-tinged, the catchy rhythm and happy melody are a great finish to a very satisfying musical experience.

Whether you listen to Wires Rosewood & Roots actively or have it playing in the background, it creates a gentle, uplifting atmosphere that will leave you feeling good! It is available from www.bobardern.ca, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
March 20, 2012
This review has been tagged as:
Guitar music
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