A new CD from a prolific guitar duo that takes fire as its thematic inspiration. It features Latin-style guitar playing fused with world-music percussion in the Nuevo-flamenco genre. The music is warm and earthy. Terra Guitarra is Bruce Hecksel playing lead on a nylon-string acoustic guitar and Julie Patchouli providing the rhythmic base.

The album’s thirteen tracks explore a variety of Latin-style textures and rhythmic combinations. There’s something about this blend of instruments, rhythm, and style that is inherently uplifting and energizing. It makes you want to sway, tap your toes, or dance! Bruce and Julie do around 200 live performances a year, and have developed a polished, audience-pleasing style that is evident on their recordings.

By Track 3: Firelight, the band is on a roll with juicy guitar riffs and sensuous rhythms. The song bounces back and forth between major and minor modes to keep the momentum going. The variety of percussion instruments and intricate rhythms on the tracks is the icing on the cake, and includes a rain stick, congos/bongos, and other hand drums. Track 6: Malaguena is a sizzling hot flamenco with kick-ass guitar picking throughout. Track 7: North Country slows the tempo to a slinky two-step. A wood flute winds in and out of the texture. Track 10: Cloud Bird is an extraordinarily lovely guitar duet with a beautiful melody.

“Firelight” offers all of the laid-back pleasures that you’d expect of a south-of-the-border acoustic guitar group. If you like Carlos Santana, Los Lonely Boys, or soundtracks from Roberto Rodriguez films but would enjoy the sound if slightly tamed, this mellow all-instrumental CD is a perfect pick-me-up after a long day at work. The confident mastery offered by the musicians allows the listeners to let go of the troubles of the day and slide into a warm, joyful musical head-space. 

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Terra Guitara
Earthsign Records, 2014
Available at their website (terraguitarra.com), DCbaby, Amazon, iTunes, etc, as a CD ($15.00) or as a digital download ($10.00)

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