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Hill, Charlie: The Landing
Charlie Hill - The Landing Review

Hill, Charlie: The Landing

Instrumental Acoustic Guitar
4.5/5.0

To be honest, I'm slightly out of my league here. As much as I have grown up with instrumental acoustic guitar and enjoy it, I don't think that deeply about it. Mostly because I'm not a player and I want simply to enjoy the music and talents of the artist. It's kind of like kicking back with a nice glass of pinot grigio and relaxing: smooth and no effort required.

Charlie Hill Photo

Charlie Hill: just act like you're playing.

Charlie Hill is a Tulsa-based guitarist who plays in the finger-style tradition, that is 'playing the guitar by plucking the strings directly with the fingertips, fingernails, or picks attached to fingers, as opposed to flatpicking (picking individual notes with a single plectrum called a flatpick).' (Wikipedia) Any guitarist reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about, and can probably mention his favorite players.

Charlie Hill, essentially, is quite the master at his technique. The Landing, his first CD, displays his remarkably smooth and transparent style. It's light fare, of course, since it's acoustic guitar, but you can't help but imagine, in your mind, the nimbleness of his fingers as he plays.

Hill's skills have not gone unrecogized either. Dogs in Paradise was a finalist at the 8th (2011) Annual International Acoustic Music Awards in the instrumental division. Surreal McCoy, The Hospice Nurse was a finalist in the 2011 The Great American Song Contest instrumental category. Nice, as they are great songs.

In his best moments, and they're everywhere here, he reminds me Leo Kottke, a guitarist who I listened to in my youth. Yet considering his use of open tunings and a desire for a more natural percussive wood sound, a more contemporary peer like the the late Michael Hedges, a rather eclectic guitarist, may come to mind. There is one vocal song here, Simple Song and, yes, Hill can sing quite well.

But now I'm exceeding the bounds of my own credulity. Charlie Hill is simply a fine acoustic guitarist, and The Landing a magnificent display of this labor of love. One caveat: I wish The Landing would have been longer. But we won't hold that against him. Did I mention he met Jimi Hendrix at the Tulsa airport back in the day. Yeah. So all you rockers and metalheads should check this guy out, too. Quite recommended.


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In Short

Charlie Hill is simply a fine acoustic guitarist, and The Landing a magnificent display of this labor of love. Did I mention he met Jimi Hendrix at the Tulsa airport back in the day. Yeah.

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