Review: Neil Warden – Adventures In Weissenborn Land (EP)

Posted on: Saturday, Oct 3, 2015

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Neil Warden – Adventures In Weissenborn Land (EP)

(Deep Blue Music Productions: DBCD0915)

Here’s one of those little gems that comes along ‘off the radar’ every now and then . . . a quite lovely four-track ‘journey’ through the sounds of the Weissenborn lap steel guitar – performed by the talented Scottish player and writer, Neil Warden. The music is mainly acoustic, but with some electric sounds, as the multi-talented Warden also contributes electric, baritone and classical guitar, bass & percussion, along with the dominant Weissenborn.

Warden boasts a most impressive CV, having worked with the cream of his homeland’s blues fraternity – including Tam White, Maggie Bell, Steve Hay’s Shades Of Blue and more. The Edinburgh-based musician has performed live at festival and theatre venues and composed music for film and video within a wide cross section of musical styles.

The four tracks here – three being instrumentals – take the listener from “Paris, Texas” flavours to sweeping improvisation and layers of ‘soundscapes’ created by Stuart Mitchell. Also helping out are Gary Martin, who supplies some fine harmonica on two tracks, and a vocal on “Bad Dog”, and bass flute from Dave Heath on “The Alchemist”.

The opening “Mojave” conjurs up desert landscapes with its sweeping Weissenborn, and atmospheric harmonica from Gary Martin, with Stuart Mitchell creating an almost Far Eastern sound on top – most impressive! The following “Bad Dog” is a straighter country blues with vocal and harmonica as previously mentioned by Gary Martin and more fine guitar from Neil Warden.

The remaining two tracks are equally as engaging – “Enchanted” is a moody and atmospheric piece, swathed in another stunning arrangement by Stuart Mitchell, and just cries out to be on a soundtrack or TV programme; as does the closing “The Alchemist” – with again Far Eastern sounds and textures emerging, and the contribution of bass flute from Dave Heath alongside Warden’s virtuosity.

GRAHAME RHODES

www.neilwarden.com

www.deepbluemusic.co.uk

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