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Star Lullaby Raphael Groten Self-released www.raphaelgroten.com Guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Groten has released a tour de force two-disc set that displays not just his composing and performing talent, but his imaginative ability to "reconstruct" the songs from solo acoustic guitar (disc one) to ensemble-based, with more fleshed out arrangements of the same songs (disc two). Besides the inclusion...CONTINUE READING
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The Late Train Home Ed Blumenthal Self-released www.edblumenthal.com To think that a recording as self-assured and "complete" as The Late Train Home is for an artist's debut is mind-boggling. Ed Blumenthal is possessed of such nuance and subtlety that it's hard to believe that this is his recording debut, even if it is under the...CONTINUE READING
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Ambient music reviews

In the Soft Light of Grace David Nevue Midnight Rain Productions www.davidnevue.com It's been four years since David Nevue's album, Winding Down, which I labeled his pièce de résistance, the best release of his career. Now, I am left even more amazed at In the Soft Light of Grace, which not only equals Winding Down,...CONTINUE READING
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The Piano Guys Portrait (under license to Sony Music Masterworks) www.thepianoguys.com The Piano Guys (Paul Anderson/producer and videographer, Steven Sharp Nelson/cellist and songwriter, Jon Schmidt/pianist and songwriter, and Al Van Der Beek/music producer and songwriter) are a legit phenomenon, both musically and on the Internet. The songs on Limitless include originals, covers, and sometimes an...CONTINUE READING
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Ambient music

Even For a Moment Gary Schmidt Heart Dance Records www.heartdancerecords.com This is pianist Gary Schmidt's second original music release, but these 14 tracks had me thinking it was closer to his fourteenth. Schmidt is on his way to reaching the upper tier of piano artists on the contemporary instrumental scene (if this album is any...CONTINUE READING
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