The musical journey of Dave Richardson has gone from Mingo Junction, Ohio to the Front Range of Colorado with a detour through Hawaii and California. Listening to this new album it’s obvious that he’s gathered inspirations all along the way and with the availability of virtual instruments and recording software his musical explorations and imaginations have found a real world expression.
The sub-title of the album is “acoustic artists interact with virtual instruments” Richardson combines virtual and acoustic instruments seamlessly playing banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass. He’s joined by players like Greg Blake, Patty Clayton, Eric Wiggs, Ernie Martinez and an array of Colorado bluegrass stalwarts.
Banjo has been Richardson’s primary instrument and while he’s more than capable ripping through a fast number he plays with a sensitivity and style that weaves perfectly into the orchestral string arrangements that accompany several tracks. This interplay is especially evident on “Precision Timepiece” which blends a slightly Celtic feeling melody from the banjo with orchestral strings which lift the song from a nice tune to something truly beautiful and memorable.
There is a great variety on the disc. A more adventurous melody will be followed by a traditional gospel sound like “The Lights of Heaven’s Door,” a tune any traditional band should consider covering.
Banjo pickers will have fun trying to keep up with “Jack Rabbit at Kennywood Park” a delightful roller coaster of a tune that is guaranteed to blow the roof off.
Banjo V-I is a superb recording. The fact that some of the instruments are virtual allowing one person to explore musical ideas that would otherwise be unavailable (unless you have symphony orchestra in the garage) makes it even more interesting.
You can hear samples of the album and order a copy at www.compactrecording.com