Mind Heart Fingers
is the fifth release from guitarist/composer Trevor Gordon Hall, but it is a first for me. Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton co-produced the album (with Hall), which was recorded at Ackerman’s Imaginary Roads Studios by Eaton, who also edited, mixed and mastered the music. Acoustic Guitar Magazine has rated Hall as one of the top 30 guitarists under the age of 30 in the world and it doesn’t take much listening time to understand why. Hall has also developed a new instrument called the Kalimbatar which features a modified kalimba (an African finger piano with a two-octave range) attached to the front of the guitar, expanding the capability of both instruments in entirely different directions. Add to that the many percussive effects Hall employs on the body of the guitar as he plays, and we have an amazing one-man band! It is fascinating to watch some of Hall’s videos when he plays the Kalimbatar because he is able to play the small keyboard and the guitar at the same time without having to strum or pluck the strings. Pretty amazing stuff - AND the quality of the music is stellar, ranging from quiet ballads to more energetic and uptempo pieces. One of the joys of reviewing music is discovering artists that I might never have found otherwise and this has certainly been one of those experiences!
Mind Heart Fingers
begins with a quiet 27-second “Intro” played on the Kalimbatar as a prelude to the more upbeat “Morning Sidewalk 3.0.” Performed at an easy-going walking tempo with percussive rhythms played on the body of the guitar, the piece exudes optimism at the promise of a new day and uses the Kalimbatar to great effect! “The Blue Hour” is gently hypnotic and clearly demonstrates Hall’s mastery of his instrument. “The Meeting At the Window” is tenderly expressive and full of emotion, as is “Almost Spring” - both favorites. “The Discipline of Curiosity” is as intriguing as its title. It begins and ends with solo guitar, but is played mostly on the kalimba, creating a magical sound palette. The two-minute piece segues into “Midnight and Raining,” a gorgeous masterpiece for the Kalimbatar that captures the mood of a peaceful, rainy night. “Turning Ruts Into Grooves” cranks up the energy level with some very impressive finger work and driving rhythms. The quiet and lyrical “Short Story” closes the album with a gentle sigh and will have you looking for the “replay” button!
If you are new to the music of Trevor Gordon Hall, as I was, Mind Heart Fingers
is a wonderful place to start! It is available from trevorgordonhall.com
, Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Highly recommended!