Ed Gerhard
There and Gone
Virtue Records

Absorbing Ed Gerhard’s music requires patience. For starters, the acoustic fingerstyle wizard took some six years to complete his ninth album, There and Gone. But more importantly, the solo guitarist’s tunes and beautifully articulated counterpoint unfold slowly, like flower petals opening to the sunrise. He doesn’t use flashy tricks to grab your attention, yet if you’re willing to meet Gerhard on his terms, you’ll be rewarded with some of the richest steel-string sounds you’ve ever heard.

Possessing a degree of right-hand control usually associated with classical guitarists, Gerhard can coax a melody to the fore, letting it sing above his lush harmonies and sustaining overtones. He’s partial to open and lowered tunings, and he knows how to use droning bass strings to provide a sonorous foundation for his silvery treble lines.

Gerhard also plays acoustic hollowneck Weissenborn and electric steel, and on several tunes he weaves soaring lap slide into his fingerpicked flattop textures. In addition to Celtic-tinged originals, Gerhard offers intriguing covers, including a dramatic medley of John Lennon‘s “Imagine” and “Across the Universe.” A mysterious and satisfying dance of fingers on strings. —Andy Ellis
Must-hear track: “Imagine”