High Wind Blue Sky
2021 / Falling Foot Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
High Wind Blue Sky is Canadian composer/guitarist David Lindsay's third collaboration with the crew from Will Ackerman's Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont and is a soothing, relaxing acoustic masterpiece. Roughly 3/4 of an hour of listening bliss, the album features one full acoustic guitar solo and nine guitar and ensemble works (all original compositions) that include Eugene Friesen (cello), Noah Wilding (wordless vocals), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Jill Haley (English horn), Jeff Haynes (percussion), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) as well as Will Ackerman (guitar and production) and Tom Eaton (bass, piano, fretless bass, 5-string bass, engineering, mastering, recording and co-producing!!!). While all ten tracks are very peaceful, they are also reflective and tinged with melancholy - a beautiful and very satisfying respite from the stress and craziness of life in the 21st century (so far!).
In addition to composing and playing music, David Lindsay has been studying at the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. His love for the guitar started when he was eight years old, playing imaginary guitar (with a tennis racket!) and pretending to be John Lennon. He studied classical guitar performance and lute at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia and has also practiced law, giving him a very wide variety of life experiences to draw from in his music.
High Wind Blue Sky begins with the solo guitar title song, a piece inspired by the feeling "that follows a time of deep sorrows when the gift of grace brings a renewal of the spirit, like Spring bringing light and hope after the dark Winter." Quietly introspective, the music comes straight from the heart. "Slow Walk Home" begins as a guitar solo, adding cello, voice, light percussion and Ackerman's guitar as it evolves. The smoothness of bowed cello and Wilding's voice create a wonderful study in contrasts with the strummed strings of the guitars. Thoughtful and serene, it's a gorgeous piece! "Agnes" is almost mournful in its emotional expression. A seven-minute piece, the first half is a soulful guitar solo. The mood seems to lighten with the addition of bass, piano, percussion and Ackerman's guitar - I really love this one! "Birds" is a wonderful trio for guitar, English horn and bass. Sometimes soaring and sometimes more grounded and still, Jill Haley's performance adds a haunting quality that is both visual and compelling. "For Margot" was composed for Lindsay's daughter and is the most light-hearted piece on the album. "Sea Swells" reflects on some of the consistent qualities of the ocean as well as some of its many contrasts. Performed with guitar, voice, cello and English horn, it is both peaceful and in constant motion. "Dear Friend" seems to express the trust, intimacy and easy rapport shared between the best of friends. Warm, comfortable and very open, this exceptional piece features guitars, cello, piano and percussion.
What a great album! High Wind Blue Sky is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites like Spotify. Don't miss it!
June 2, 2021