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Album Review: Good Light To Go By
Vin Downes
Cover image of the album Good Light To Go By by Vin Downes
Good Light To Go By
Vin Downes
2020 / Riverwide Records
52 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Good Light To Go By is the fifth studio album by composer/ guitarist/ teacher Vin Downes. Warm and gently soothing, Downes’ magic touch on the guitar strings has never sounded better and this could be his best album yet! Good Light To Go By consists of eleven original acoustic guitar solos and a bonus track with additional bass and guitar. Warm, soothing and relaxing, this is the perfect music for a quiet evening by the fireplace, for focused listening and getting lost in, to accompany a special dinner or just about anything that would be enhanced by an atmosphere of warmth and positivity. The album was produced by Downes and Tom Eaton and was recorded, mixed and mastered by Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont.

Good Light To Go By begins with “Falling Into Place,” an easy-going piece that feels a bit like a leisurely walk on the beach with the sun on your back - in no rush to go anywhere and with life feeling really good. “The Flawed Heart” is a bit more introspective - simple, sincere and honest. “Parting” is a bittersweet “farewell” that comes from the depths of the heart and says so much more than words ever could - a favorite. “Each Other’s Home” expresses the comfort and ease of being in the place where you truly belong and where you can fully be yourself - also a favorite. Like the album cover, the title song is light and airy and seems to flow in warm pastel colors. “The Red Shirt Is for Crying” was composed for lyrics written by David Crosby - an exciting collaboration, I’m sure! This version is for solo guitar, though, so the lyrics aren’t included. With the intriguing title, it would be fun to be able to read the words along with the music (a very small complaint!). “Dream In the Valley” is a pleasant daydream on a warm spring afternoon - peaceful, uncomplicated and soul-healing. “So She Spins” is a gentle folk ballad that tells a story of simpler times and of doing most things from scratch and by hand - a very nice reminder and a beautiful piece! “Waiting For Fullness” returns to a more reflective and introspective mood, looking within and finding answers in the gently responsive guitar strings. The bonus track is a second version of “Each Other’s Home,” this time featuring Mai Leisz on fretless bass and Kenny Withrow on guitar and slide guitar along with Vin Downes. This version is also a little bit longer and allows for some wonderful additions to the music by the guest artists.

What a great album to start 2020 with! If you like solo acoustic guitar, relaxing music with plenty of substance, and/or music with a lot of heart, Vin Downes is the real deal! Good Light To Go By is available from www.VinDownes.com, Amazon, iTunes, CD Baby and many streaming sites. Great stuff!
January 3, 2020
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