22 May 2012

Review: Bob Ardern - Wires Rosewood & Roots

Bob Ardern moved from England to Canada when he was 13, but it was on a visit back to England for the holidays that Bob discovered the guitar. Santa brought him a guitar for Christmas and then came the practicing. Living in the country without a television made for minimal distractions.
Bob took a break from guitar when life came knocking at his door. He finished his Computer Science degree, started a career, got married and bought a home. Life changed again after about twenty years and Bob found himself alone with no television and plenty of time to practice. 
He began to play a local coffee shop and eventually ended up in Nova Scotia where he met producer David Findlay and joined with him to produce Wires, Rosewood & Roots.
This album is a collection of Bob’s instrumental pieces some on acoustic guitar and some with backing instruments. If I had to choose a genre to describe this album I would call it Nova Scotian New Age Blues.
The night I started to listen to Wires, Rosewood & Roots I was starting my 40 mile commute home in a blizzard. It became the perfect soundtrack to my snowy trek home. The first track “Dusty’s Train” was just what I expected to hear based from the picture on the cover of the cd. Open strings, natural harmonics, finger picking. It’s a very beautiful, soothing piece.
By the time I reached the track “Scotch Rocks” the snow was starting to stick to the roads. Normally I would have had the urge to drive a little faster than I was, but “Scotch Rocks” is so smooth that I just sat back and enjoyed the solitude while listening. This song has an acoustic jazz feel and the backing instruments really make this my favorite track on the CD.
When I cross the railroad tracks I know I am almost home and I was almost finished with my first listen to Wires, Rosewood & Roots. The album had made my trip home more of a journey than a commute. I was now listening to the final track “Windrush”. It’s a fine example of how Bob is able to combine New Age style guitar with bluesy guitar licks. This hybrid gives the album a very unique style of its own.
Wires, Rosewood & Roots made my hellish commute a little piece of heaven. If you like acoustic guitar, you should add this album to your collection. Make sure you keep a copy in the car just in case.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Dusty’s Train, Scotch Rocks, Windrush

Kirk Bullough

1. Irish Mood
2. Skating
3. Palindrome
4. Dusty's Train
5. Scotch Rocks
6. Flea's Reel
7. Eleanor of Aquitaine
8. Windrush
9. Tea Rose
10. Waiting for McAfee
11. Pray for Rain
12. Out of Work



Artist:  Bob Ardern
Title:  Wires Rosewood & Roots
Genre:  Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Label:  Bob Ardern
Website:  http://www.bobardern.ca/

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