Last Drinks in Derry - Alan Banks
Released April 2008, Independent, http://cdbaby.com/cd/alanbanks2
Three-quarters of the way through the disc and I got it - Around the World in Fourteen Tracks! Not only is Alan Banks' latest offering a stylistic tour of the globe, but also through time. Hmm, maybe I've been thinking about Doctor Who too much?
All jokes aside, I'm excited about this CD. Let's do the technicalities: 14 tracks in 37 minutes on steel string and classical guitars. 10 new compositions by Alan, 2 reworked classical guitar favourites (Queen Elizabeth's Galliard by John Dowland and Canario by Gaspar Sanz), a Tommy Emmanuel number (Tequila Slammer) and an outstanding version of Cliff Richard's Wired for Sound (I've been humming it for the last two days with no end in sight!) Alan's pieces themselves range from the seemingly Buena Vista Social Club inspired Cubassa to a hommage to bluegrass (Mahogany Creek).
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not easily pleased by oft self-indulgent interpretations of well known and loved pieces, or even worse parodies of the music of other times and cultures (with the exception of P.D.Q Bach of course). This disc is none of that however. The playing is brilliant and the music is alive and fresh. The reworkings make one think again about why those pieces are so good and the originals are both pleasing and interesting. All in all, great music to listen to.
The only thing that would better it is to see it performed live. Come back to Tassie soon Alan!