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CD Review: Matthew Schroeder – Signal

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Sometimes, we rabid music obsessives and/or fanatics start to feel like desperate addicts trying in vain to reproduce that first ecstatic fix, feeding our incessant cravings with piles of increasingly questionable CD purchases in our endless quest to discover something more obscure, more bizarre, and more outrageous than anything else we’ve ever heard…

Then, something unexpected like acoustic fingerstyle guitarist Matthew Schroeder‘s debut CD, Signal, comes along to remind us of the unique pleasures of listening to sincere, heartfelt music played with style, class and character.

While he clearly possesses plenty of technique, skill and chops to spare, Matt isn’t out to dazzle you with face-melting guitar solos, or force otherworldly sounds from his instrument, or change the world. He would simply like to share some of his music with us… which is, frankly, rather nice for a change. So just sit back, relax, and be glad you found this CD off the beaten path.

Mr. Schroeder plays six string, twelve string and lap slide guitars, either solo or with other musicians including Dan Chouinard on accordion, Joe Savage also playing lap steel, Jeff Victor on organ, and bassist Enrique Toussaint.

Signal‘s opening title track establishes the predominantly sunny, amiable mood of the album with a steel-string jam over an irresistibly catchy tick-tocking rhythm. “Constellation” and “Little One” are gentle fingerstyle campfire lullabies, while “The C-Bop Ramble” evokes visions of slow rides down gravel country roads, childhood canoe rides, and skipping rocks across shallow green ponds. More contemplative are the twilight north woods tone poems “Clark Lake” and “The Road Home”.

While most of Signal‘s tracks are Schroeder’s own original compositions, he also includes two respectful nods to his influences as well, performing solo renditions of “Little Martha” by Duane Allman and “Steamboat Gwine ‘Round De Bend” by John Fahey.

To me, Signal is the perfect music for a carefree summer afternoon… hang out on the porch, enjoy the breezes, pop open a cold one, and listen…

[ Signal is not yet available on Amazon.com, but can be purchased from Echowood Music: Click here to send them an email… or, contact them the old fashioned way: P.O. Box 14604, West Allis, WI 53214-0604 ]

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