Harris Newman - "Non-Sequiturs"
(Strange Attractors Audio House 2003, SAAH018)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: December 2003
Since the press pack acknowledges it and all of the reviews of this CD already say it, I might as well go ahead a be a follower - the influence of John Fahey looms large on this release. If some had popped on the opener “Around About Thirty Six” and told me that it was in fact a Fahey song I probably would have believed it, and there are several other songs that are just THAT close. There are several like minded folks currently on the scene that I hear shades of Fahey in, including Steffan Basho Jughans, Jack Rose, and even Ben Chasny, but here it goes beyond the choice of tunings and notes and such, even the laid-back style of Fahey’s playing is approximated. Is this going over the line that separates “influenced” from “copyist”? Maybe so, maybe not, but on the other hand I have to say that it sounds really good, and it’s really only true of several of the songs on this, cause the rest move off in different directions as well, such as the nice relaxed bit of slide guitar of “God Is In the Details”. The addition of drums on several tracks kicks things into higher gear, upping the intensity level, especially on the lengthy “Forest For the Trees” where Newman creates a beautiful dark atmosphere through rapidly picked rising and falling volumes, ranging from barely a hushed whisper to outright attack. This is probably my personal favorite, but everything on this CD is pretty swank, and it leaves me wanting to hear more. What more can you ask for really?
For more information you can visit the Harris Newman web site at: http://www.harrisnewman.com.
Non-Sequiturs is distributed by Strange Attractors Audio House. Visit their web site at: http://www.strange-attractors.com.
Contact via snail mail c/o Strange Attractors Audio House; PO Box 13007; Portland, OR 97214.
Reviewed by Scott Heller