Ed Gerhard: Sunnyland (Solid Air 2057;43:44) ★★★ 1/2
Through crisp, virtuosic fingerstyle guitar playing laced with feelings mainly centered on quiet jubilation, soloist Gerhard takes listeners to a special place in this collection of original blues and traditional gospel. The Grammy winner dedicates “Avalon Train” to Mississippi John Hurt and “Either Way She Walks” to Tampa Red, but he’s telling only his own lively stories on strings. Throughout the 14-song program, he receives high marks in tonal control, clarity, choice of tempo and creative use of open tuning. Only “Still Not Sorry You’re Gone” rings false for its convergence of Martin guitar, lap steel, electric bass and percussion.