Deep: Music to Heal the Soul

Posted on in Art + Soul by Lloyd Barde

Adam Werner

In the midst of a string of guitar-centered recordings—like Shambhu’s Soothe, Bruce BecVar’s Floating Home, and recent concert appearances by Will Ackerman, Todd Boston, Alex DeGrassi—along comes Deep: Music to Heal the Soul by Southern Cal’s Adam Werner. Adam’s progressive fingerstyle guitar pays homage to his readily apparent Ackerman influences. Inviting guests like Uganda’s Samite, bassist extraordinaire Michael Manring, and fellow guitarists Adam Howe, KenVerhoecke, and Jim “Kimo” West adds extra dimensions on several tracks.

Cover Deep Music to Heal the Soul

The opening track, “Sage and Seed (for Tristan)” sails on Samite’s flute and transcendent vocals, with Adam bringing the beauty of his guitar, bass, and percussion. “Thank You” stretches the boundaries with kinetic rhythms, string flurries, and plenty of space to tune in to the gratitude. “Footprints in the Fog” is about beauty, pure and simple, drawing you all the way in. The centerpiece of the album is Adam’s note-for-note rendition of the ever-familiar “Impending Death of the Virgin Spirit” by Will, accompanied, as on the original, by Manring. “Kealia Sunrise” portrays the tropical sunrise majesty at the start of a perfect day, and the closing track, “Early Mourning: Passage” is graced by the lovely vocalizations of Sydney Easton.

The arrangements sparkle and shine, drawing from lilting Hawaiian melodies, rural riffs, classical motifs, and many subtle touches that ask the listener to go deep. Adam’s nimble fingerpicking, compelling and intricate counterplay, and versatile fluidity make this entire recording an unqualified success. You’ll want to listen over and over to mine the beauty and depth of Deep — a veritable “giant leap for guitar recordings” — to discover all of its musical treasures. Adam brings us a wondrous variety of gentle flow, bright transitions, and a thoughtful bouquet of expressed feelings.


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