Solo guitar albums, sans vocals, frequently struggle to sustain interest. But on rare occasions, solo guitar albums can be downright exciting, and Tim Sparks proves it on a delightful, offhandedly dazzling new set called, "Chasin' The Boogie." It offers roots Americana at its most intimate, with compelling originals and truly fresh treatments of hallowed favorites and traditionals. "Mr. Bojangles," say hello to a "Wayfaring Stranger." And hey there "Blackbird," why don't look at those clouds you're passing from "Both Sides Now"? Sparks has tackled Jewish traditional music in the past, but "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" is more fitting on this set, which is largely a return trip to his Carolina boyhood roots. There are a few detours to points even deeper South, like the stunning "Mississippi Blues" and Roy Orbison's gentle and lovely, "Blue Bayou." And a few citified jazz and Tin pan Alley licks creep through. It all fits and captivates. This week marks the official "CD Release Party." Tom Surowicz
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Date: Ended 06/18/14
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