Man, talk about your great albums by folks you may not be familiar with! Bill Mize has done other nice work, but this disc is 10 songs of pure joy.
He’s an acoustic player who has the whole deal covered… total command of the chordal possibilities of the guitar, nasty single-line chops, cascading runs mixed with harmonics, and even the guitar used as a percussion instrument. And to top it off, it’s a perfect mix of nice original tunes and imaginative arrangements of old songs.
Check out “Everlasting Love.” It took me a couple of listens, but then I realized this was the old soul tune done up as a folky guitar showcase. Not a song you’d immediately think of for this arrangement, but it works. James Gang fans get a cover of “Funk 49” that cooks – all acoustic! Killer runs and funky, chunky acoustic chords make this a favorite.
The originals show Mize’s penchant for nice melodies and pretty chords. The stately “To A Friend” is a gorgeous ballad. “The Last Dance” features a moving bass line, beautiful chord flourishes, and killer solo lines. The original “Song for Miss Lula” takes on a very nice mideastern feel. “Tango for Gnats” uses a wah in a very imaginative way; it’s one of the few songs you’ll hear that features wah and accordian.
If you’re a fan of acoustic guitars and instrumentals that feature a guy who really knows the instrument well, you’ll love this disc.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Aug. ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.