Above The Rain

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Above the Rain - Todd Bauchspies

Out Of The Valley Of Giants

"Rough little guitar doodles" -- that's how Todd Bauchspies describes the contents of his new CD "Above the Rain." He's being modest.

Rough is certainly not a word that springs to mind while listening to these 18 mostly solo guitar pieces. One is more apt to think along the lines of "contemplative" and "soothing." And if many of Bauchspies's acoustic guitar tunes sound as if they evolved from little doodles, the same can be said for the music composed by a lot of kindred spirits, including the late Michael Hedges. Bauchspies pays homage to Hedges here in spirited fashion, with the percussive "Hedge Hawk Clearing," but more often the mood is pensive or lyrical. The use of alternate tunings allows Bauchspies to take advantage of sustained tones and resonant textures, a sound occasionally augmented by violin, piano, cello, recorder, percussion and other instruments.

"Grateful Hearts," which features the guitarist's wife, pianist Cindy Bauchspies, is among the more intimate collaborations, while the back-to-back pairing of the sprightly solo pieces "Day Is Done" and "Track Trestle Run" help prevent the album from succumbing to New Age-ish fatigue (The same can be said for the swift yet blues-tinged instrumental "Seven More Miles.") With a distinct flair for guitar portraiture, Bauchspies caps the album with three evocative vignettes: "Atlantic Mast," "Soldier's Parting" and "Chesapeake." Doodles they're not.


In the tradition of Michael Hedges and Al Pettaway, Todd Bauchspies plays with inspiration and conviction. 'Above the Rain' is full of beautiful melodies that take the listener on a musical experience that is peaceful and spiritual. 'Above the Rain', the new release from Todd Bauchspies, is an instrumental guitar album that will remind you of how, in the proper hand, the instrument can define a range of emotions. Happy, mournful and playful, Todd does it all very well. Fans of acoustic instrumental guitar music will find a lot to like on 'Above the Rain' the new release from Todd Bauchspies. Eighteen original songs that showcase a talented guitar player and composer.

- Michael Macey, WRNR RADIO


Todd Bauchspies, a fingerstyle guitarist for more than 15 years, has performed a lot throughout the USA East Coast. He was the principal composer and guitarist of the jazz fusion group Permanent Vacation. Now Todd has released an instrumental acoustic guitar album called Above the Rain, on which he establishes himself with his own guitar compositions. Todd is inspired by the late Michael Hedges and Al Petteway. Above the Rain contains 18 tracks, which are quite soothing. Todd plays in alternate tunings, and this gives him the liberty to create his own unique sound. Most of his compositions are intimate and reflective, and the mood is very pensive. Hedge Hawk Clearing is truly an ode to Michael Hedges, and I must say that Todd is as creative as Hedges was, with tapping and slapping techniques. Todd uses a 1975 Yamaha FG-160 guitar, which was a gift from his parents. Light from the Red Gentle Sky has a very nice melancholic feeling. On Grateful Hearts, Todd is assisted by his wife, Cindy, on piano, which creates a wonderful ambiance. March of the Baby Sea Turtles includes great percussion, performed by Jonathan Sardella. Track Trestle Run contains Celtic influences, with an uplifting melody line. Seven More Miles is a piece which reminds one of Leo Kottke. Atlantic Mast, which is played in arpeggios as well as using tapping and slapping techniques, creates a great atmosphere. The addition of violin, piano, cello, recorder and percussion makes this album very versatile. Todd Bauchspies succeeds in captivating the listener with great compositions in various styles. This album showcases a distinguished guitarist and composer.

  -Henk te Veldhuis, Bridge Guitar Reviews


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