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PAUL TASKER - Cold Weather Music 

PAUL TASKER - Cold Weather Music 
Yellowroom Records YLLWRM008

A gentle album of American style guitar and banjo, this CD reminds me of some of the Windham Hill releases of the 1990s. It's beautifully played, slightly hypnotic, and would make the perfect background music for a film about pine forests or birch woods in winter. The slow picking of Husker's Theme takes us from the front porch swing, across the fields and into the trees. Gorlitzer is like running through the snow, footfalls soft, all sounds wrapped in a blanket of white. The slightly darker tones of Sky Train hint at hidden shapes, watching eyes, with the occasional wild crash of a startled deer or a flock of birds breaking cover.

Valve Oil is a little harder to fit into this landscape. Perhaps a truck swaying slowly along a rutted track, gears grinding on the incline. The plink of slack strung banjo on Tundra Plane is like the frost dripping from the branches in a sudden thaw, while Ne'er Day puts me in mind of a trudge through deserted streets, collar turned up and shoulders hunched against the wind and weather. The swing of InE adds warmth, like ducking into a jazz and blues bar for a sustaining shot of something, and the final Rising would fit the feeling as face, fingers and toes gradually unfreeze and come back to life in this convivial environment. All these sounds and images were created by Paul Tasker, Glasgow-based guitarist with Doghouse Roses, along with friends on flute, cello, pedal steel and percussion. One for a quiet evening. 

Alex Monaghan

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This album was reviewed in Issue 115 of The Living Tradition magazine.