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INNES WATSON - Innes Watson’s Guitar Colloquium 

INNES WATSON - Innes Watson’s Guitar Colloquium 
Isle Music ISLE06CD 

Composer, musician and arranger Innes Watson has made his name as an accompanist and a composer and now his first album sees him assuming a foreground role in the creative proceedings. Innes lives in Glasgow, and is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist with over ten years’ experience in the contemporary and traditional Scottish music scene - performing, recording, teaching and producing. He grew up in the Scottish Borders and now teaches at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (having graduated from there with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Scottish Music in 2006). His music retains a curiosity as well as a technical know-how and agility which befits his experience and background.

His first solo album is a place where the guitar is both a lead instrument and a background setting for a display of instrumental ability and creativity - all 14 tracks here possessing a sense of character and creative expression. They provide ample evidence of Innes’ ability as a player and composer, from the brisk march rhythms of Doo Da with its recurring melodic motifs, and Feds which recalls the influence of Snuffy Walden’s TV themes like Thirtysomething, to Stubbs which blends all-out traditional-style tunesmithery with guitar dynamics that are more akin to the likes of Tommy Emmanuel. Innes Watson’s abilities on guitar at times recall New Age tendencies but his penchant for melody keeps him on the edge and avoids the project keeling over into self-indulgence. Quietly uplifting and technically dexterous, Innes Watson’s Guitar Colloquium is worth acquiring as a defence of the power of an acoustic guitar as an attention-grabbing magnet when coupled with a dexterous musical mind and a creative outlook.

John O’Regan