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DYLAN FOWLER - A Passionate Landscape

DYLAN FOWLER - A Passionate Landscape
Acoustic Music Records 31915062

The latest release from Welsh guitarist Dylan Fowler is an eclectic mix featuring Dylan on an array of instruments including guitars, lap steel and mandocello, in company with a bunch of talented friends from around Europe playing more unusual instruments like the oud, kantele and a variety of percussion. The contribution from Dylan’s partner, Gillian Stevens, on tenor viol and cello also stands out.  All the music here was recorded in Dylan’s own studio in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire.

Dylan is not scared to explore other genres in his music. Just listen to Sufi Tales featuring the oud of Moufadhel Adhoum which follows Dylan’s own Cariad Hir (Long Love), which has, to my ears, a flavour of the jazz playing of Pat Metheny (and I do not pay that compliment lightly).

Dylan seems more popular in Europe than in Britain and I fail to see why. This is music that pushes boundaries while never straying too far from Dylan’s Celtic roots, of which he is justly proud. My personal favourite in Inish Ni, which is a full blooded Irish style ‘ripper’ which will have guitarists breaking their fingers in despair. It is difficult to believe this man only has eight fingers and two thumbs!  In the CD notes is a quote from a North American First Nation gentleman who, after a concert, told Dylan, “I know where you come from. I know your land.” What a compliment. I know just what he means. Whatever your particular ‘poison’ when it comes to acoustic or roots music, you should give this a listen. You will not be disappointed.

Phil Thomas

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.