Having set album sales records with his previous studio albums, perennial “Top Ten”-er Ed Gerhard has taken his popular guitar music on tour and has put his tour on vinyl (er- plastic) for his first live album.
Recorded “bootleg” style between 1995 and 1999 all across the United States, The Live Album features familiar favorites, new renditions of traditional offerings and international flavors which range from shadowy western slides to Polynesian and Irish lines.
Two versions of the Gerhard favorite “Malaika” (including one on his new “mandotar” – a combination
mandolin/guitar) shows how the humorous and inventive performer can give two entirely different
voices to one song. The oddly-titled solo “Duet” demonstrates both Gerhard’s melodic range and dextrous duality, which ranges from harpsichordian brightness to bowed bass depth. With tips to fellow fret -men such as Martin Simpson, Michael Hedges and Mark Knoffler, Gerhard takes the best from the guitar canon and shoots in his own special style. From amid the occasional chair squeaks and fret scratches emerges an album which is most often studio clean yet which also captures the improvisational interest and fun of Gerhard’s live performances.
– Matthew s. Robinson