The Way home
As well as being one of Guitar Techniques’ longest-serving contributors, Stuart is also one of the most sensitive and inventive acoustic players around. So we’ve been eagerly awaiting this release and it’s a knockout. The opening track is Mr Leeb, Stuart’s homage to his friend Thomas Leeb and another fabulous player. It involves Thomas’s famed tapping style and is very exciting to listen to, particularly when coupled to Stuart’s precise finger work. That quality is also in evidence on Kora Song, which employs a technique where a card is woven between the strings for a kora-style percussive sound oozing with exotic flavour. We also like his versions of Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, both included here and given the enlightening Ryan treatment. The title track is a warm and lush affair and, like the rest of the album, has a personal quality to the production – it’s like having the man himself in your living room, and that’s no bad thing when the music is this intimate and beautiful.