California Guitar Trio

California Guitar Trio

The CGT has been making music for 25 years and is celebrating with this wonderful, back-to-basics recording. Guitarists Paul Richards, Bert Lams, and Hideyo Moriya cut the record au natural with no effects and minimal compression – just microphones and new acoustics made by Kraut, Somogyi, and Breedlove.

The set kicks off with Moriya’s sweetly melodic title track, the instruments sounding somewhere between guitars and harpsichords in their “new standard tuning” of C-G-D-A-E-G. Richards’ “Cherry Trees” is right in the acoustic-prog zone associated with the CGT, an instrumental workout with Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson) chiming in on Chapman Stick.

For covers, the threesome delivers warm, spot-on versions of Buck Owens’ “Buckaroo,” the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations,” Dave Brubeck’s “Blue Rondo à la Turk,” and the Beatles’ quintessential deep-cut, “I Dig a Pony.”

Like an all-acoustic version of the Ventures, the quietly virtuosic trio plays covers that celebrate the guitar for its own sake, without any shredding or unnecessary showing off. This album is guitar music for guitar lovers – and succeeds brilliantly.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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