Even when Lyle Brewer covers standards, he makes the song his own. His last couple albums have been filled with familiar songs given the Brewer treatment. With his latest, we get a record full of Brewer originals and the result is the same.
He’s a unique player whose sound relies on tone and feel. The music is atmospheric without being spacy. And, most importantly, he’s one of those pickers who create a unique, wonderful sound without sacrificing the song.
Melodies abound. “Fire On An Empty Street” is a balled featuring a sound laden with reverb and tremelo, sending out a haunting melody. “Work Your Magic” is a soulful ballad with a section rife with gorgeous double stops and a big-toned solo toward the back of the song.
“Southpaw” is the perfect title for the quirky, bouncy tune featuring Brewer’s funky, percussive guitar. He pays homage to Chet and Merle with “Latches.” And his jazz side surfaces on the jaunty “Birds in Circles” and the ballad “Negative Space.”
There’s not a bad cut here, including several short interludes that are guitar heaven. Brewer’s streak of winners continues.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s January ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.