Russ Hewitt’s Latest LP Will Appeal To His Established Audiences, Spanish Guitar Fans

Courtesy: Saulito Music

Late this past August, guitarist Russ Hewitt released his latest album, Chasing Horizons through the independent label Saulito Music.  His fourth album, it is an intriguing presentation that is sure to appeal to his most devoted fans through its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  While the arrangements featured in the record are of positive note, the lack of any background on the songs is slightly disheartening and will be addressed a little later.  The lack of any background on the songs is not enough to doom the album, of course.  To that end, there is one more positive to note.  It comes in the form of the record’s production, which will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered Chasing Horizons proves to be an interesting addition to this year’s field of new World Music albums.

Chasing Horizons, the latest studio recording from guitarist Russ Hewitt, is a presentation that Hewitt’s established audiences will enjoy. The same can be said of fans of Spanish guitar style compositions.  That is due in large part to the arrangements that make up the record’s body.  The 10 total songs that make up the record’s 43-minute run time all bear Hewitt’s signature Spanish style guitar work.  However, from one to the next, Hewitt manages to make each composition subtly different from its predecessor, ensuring at least some engagement and entertainment among the noted audiences.  The first three songs bear a distinct flamenco style performance from Hewitt.  As an added bonus, Hewitt’s fellow famed guitarist Marty Friedman (Megadeth, Tourniquet, Cacophony) makes a guest appearance on the third song in that trio of works, ‘Vivir Libre.’  Roughly translated, the song’s title means ‘Live Free.’  The positive energy that Friedman and Hewitt deliver through this relaxed composition definitely conjures thoughts of the happiness of living free and simply living life.  Friedman ties in his familiar neoclassical style work to the otherwise Cuban style composition to make it all the more interesting.

In a weird way, the addition of the drums and strings to the album’s fourth entry, ‘Amor Perdido’ (‘Lost Love’) give the song a unique mainstream vibe, like something that belongs in some Spanish language movie or even some vintage romantic drama that involves a trip to Spain or Cuba.  It, again, does bear a style overall that is very similar to the rest of the album’s works, yet Hewitt manages to use the noted subtleties to give it at least a little identity to itself.

As the album continues its progression, Hewitt changes things up even more notably in the form of ‘Sunset Samba.’  Featuring a guest appearance by Jorge Strunz, the light touches of the guitar, keyboard and drums lend themselves collectively to comparison to the music audiences came to know from PBS’ timeless series, The Joy of Painting.  Anyone not familiar with that show clearly doesn’t know the name Bob Ross.  One listen to that show’s music and the comparison will become fully clear.  The song still bears its own identity separate from the show’s music and even from the album’s other works.  It shows yet again, the variety in sounds that Hewitt delivers throughout the arrangements, even though they all sound so similar stylistically.  It is just one more example of how the variety in the songs’ sounds play an integral role in the record’s presentation.  When it is compared against the other songs noted here and alongside other late entries, such as ‘Cubalia Café,’ and the contemplative closer that is ‘Return to Simitai,’ (and the album’s other songs) the whole delivers so much musical variety for listeners to enjoy.  That is reason enough for audiences to hear this record at least once.

While the diverse sounds offered up throughout Chasing Horizons offer a fair share of engagement and entertainment, the lack of any background on the songs detracts from that enjoyment to a point.  Nowhere in the album’s packaging are there any liner notes discussing the songs’ creation and inspiration.  This is something that this critic has addressed with instrumental albums across the musical universe.  The lack of any liner notes discussing the album’s songs leaves listeners less immersed in the songs than they otherwise could have been.  That is because having that background on the songs can and often does make for extra appreciation for the songs and no room for misinterpretation.  To that end, the lack of that background unquestionably detracts from the album’s overall appeal.  That detraction is not enough to doom the album, though.  Keeping that in mind there is still at least one more positive to note.  That positive is the record’s production.

The production that went into Chasing Horizons is of note because of the overall approach taken to each composition.  The songs are simple in their approach.  They are grounded in their featured guitar work.  Other subtle elements are added in from one work to the next to add to the general effect in each song.  The attention paid to balancing each song’s instrumentation results in each part complimenting the others expertly.  The result therein is 10 total songs that will keep listeners engaged and entertained thanks to the overall positive general effect generated through that production work.  When the positive of the production is considered along with the positive of the diversity in the songs’ arrangements, those two elements give audiences reason enough to take in this record at least once.  This is the case even with the negative of there being no liner notes explaining the songs’ background.

Chasing Horizons, the latest studio offering from guitarist Russ Hewitt, is a presentation that Hewitt’s established audiences will find interesting.  That is due in large part to its featured arrangements.  The arrangements are largely similar from one to the next in their sounds, but also different from one another in their sounds.  This is reason enough for audiences to take in the album.  The lack of any background on the songs takes away from the album’s enjoyment, though not enough to doom the record.  To that end, the production that went into the album’s presentation works with its songs to make for even more reason for audiences to hear the album.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered they make the record an interesting addition to this year’s field of new World Music albums.

Chasing Horizons is available now. More information on the record is available at:

Website: https://RussHewittMusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100036214181793

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1 thought on “Russ Hewitt’s Latest LP Will Appeal To His Established Audiences, Spanish Guitar Fans

  1. Pingback: Review from philspicks – Russ Hewitt Music

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