Kyle Fosburgh: The Season of Remembrance
Grass-Tops Recording

As magnificent as it that music producers today have at their disposal a greater range of sound resources than ever before, it's always refreshing to be reminded that nothing more than an acoustic guitar is needed when the music in question is sufficiently strong. Look no further than Kyle Fosburgh's fourth release The Season of Remembrance as support for the claim. Issued on Grass-Tops Recording, which Fosburgh co-owns with Hayden Pedigo, the four-song EP presents a strong argument for the singer-guitarist's artistry, even if it's a mere seventeen-minute portrait conceived in mood to match the fall season.

Adding to the EP's appeal, each of the songs exudes a slightly different character. The opening “Rising Tide” offers a lovely showcase for Fosburgh's finger-picking technique. Though he's clearly a skilled player, he uses his highly developed technical ability in service to the song and specifically to convey the material's wistful character. His flawless sense of pacing is evident, too, in the way he modulates the tempo changes throughout the song. Recorded live in the studio, “A Soul in Flight” augments his crystalline guitar sound with his singing, the EP's sole vocal turn. While the move adds contrast to the otherwise instrumental set, the vocal, though delivered with sincerity and hardly cringe-inducing, might have been better handed over to a Sandy Denny-like guest. The serenading tone of “Young Aviator” is enriched by the subtle addition of bowed strokes by cellist Eric Perreault. Contrast is again evident, this time in the difference between the chiming clusters of Fosburgh's acoustic guitar playing and the warm and woodsy tone of the cello. Even more soothing is “Star Gazing,” a lovely lullaby that closes the EP with three entrancing minutes of bluesy twang and gentle picking. Add it up and you've got four songs, each strong in its own way and with only one misstep along the way. Certainly what's here would seem to bode well for Fosburgh's upcoming Songs for the Road Home, the guitarist's third full-length album.

December 2013