The countless moments of grace and joy are found in life and love, as played by one talented guitarist’s hands, to touch a thousand hearts.
Music Review - Jon Stephen: The Art of Solo Guitar
Review by Joseph Timmons- Xombiewoof Magazine
There are those special moments, thought of as kismet or Irish luck, when the heavens decide to drop in your lap a rage and special find. All of us have had this happen to us from time to time, if we choose to see the wisdom of the stars we learn from it, while others may just pass by. One may say “by the grace of god go I” while others may just see it as one more step into life that holds nothing more than just a pause. I have been listening to and reviewing records for some time now and impose my thoughts and critiques upon you for your reading pleasures, some agree with me, others have not, but this artist Jon Stephen is by far a singularity in a universe of musical talent, and could very well be its brightest and most brilliant I have met so far.
I was at the 2013 Central Coast Guitar Show this past weekend and I met Jon Stephen by way of introduction, a polite and jovial man who took pause to listen to others play, and in conversation spoke highly of everyone he pointed out, but no praise of his own work. During the conversation he mentioned he was performing at a local beach club in the area often to support local events and charities. He gave me a copy of his cd and asked me to check it out. I get many CDs and demos to listen to, often more than a review critic could handle on average, but something about Jon’s personality told me to put it in line for review quickly.
This was by far the best idea I could have had all week.
Jon Stephen’s recent offering The Art of Solo Guitar is a collection of instrumental guitar pieces that are truly heartwarming and touching. As an artist he has stated that his work is styled after Tropical Brazilian Guitar, but there are traces of Folk styling, Latin or Flamenco, World Beat and more, his music is as soft-spoken ant introspective. All instrumental it conveys message in tonal harmonies, to a measure that no words can create, awe inspiring and lush, both solid and fluid his choice of arrangements is very soothing.
His album Jon Stephen: The Art of Solo Guitar is arranged in “chapters” connecting together as a full story in song, rather than a list of tracks, which suits the music well, if not makes the whole series engaging to witness.
The pieces come around and interweave through each other, changing from several sections into one long song, never truly being less than adventurous, Jon creates a web of sound that captures you and keeps you close to the center of his creation. I will now do something I don’t often do, I will not name the tracks or specify a favorite, because one cannot be enjoyed without the other, and if you put the player on “random” it still sounds as if Jon meant the song order to exist, a mysterious and spiritual journey in music that will captivate you as it has me.
You can find Jon Stephen on Facebook and performs regularly at the Morovino Winery in Avila Beach, CA and the Beautiful Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in The Lido in Pismo Beach, CA. I urge you to find a way to see him perform or at least contact him to get a copy of this fabulous album.
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