Acoustic guitarist Daniel Bachman is much more than a disciple of John Fahey | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Acoustic guitarist Daniel Bachman is much more than a disciple of John Fahey


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Daniel Bachman continues to see past the limitations of acoustic guitar music. He’s only 26, but he’s already waxed nearly a dozen albums (not counting side projects released under different names), revealing a quiet virtuosity that’s always subservient to mood and tone. His strongest work yet, November’s eponymous album for Three Lobed, artlessly braids together some of the related strains on which his playing has recently focused. Like so many fingerstyle players, he’s fully conversant in the American Primitive approach pioneered by John Fahey, whether it’s an ambling blues or a meditative ragalike vibe. One example is “The Flower Tree,” which blossoms from patiently ornate tendrils into a virtual constellation of intense arpeggiated counterpoint and cascading rhythms. Still, Bachman is more interested in creating disparate environments and dispositions. Each side of the album opens with a hovering acoustic drone called “Brightlife Blues”— the first is a ruminative sort of propulsion, while the much longer second maintains a shimmering vibrato for nearly 15 minutes as Bachman toggles between circling figures of baroque richness and hydroplaning stasis.   v

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