Viral Discs 2017
Have guitar, will travel: British veteran goes beyond mere demonstration of his handiwork’s unlimited abilities.
“Viator” means “traveler” – and travel is what Paul Brett has been doing for decades, in both geographical and music terms; it also is the name of a vintage travel guitar series he created, with this album laid down on a 12-string variety. Yet “Suite 12 Viator” ties all the meanings together in a moving series of instrumental pieces that, rather brief and quite quiet as they are, speak volumes about beautiful landscapes – and a special place where different kind of miracles happens. Such a sensual awe is what will give the record more than a fleeting presence and make the thirteen numbers on display more than aural pictures.
Romantic throughout, the suite alternates between Renaissance-inspired elegance on the likes of “Oriel” and folk-tinctured elegy oozing out of “The Dwyfor” – yet Brett’s strum is never too sparse to let emotions evaporate or loose their inherent vigor. Paul’s drift might get exquisitely, delicately intimate in “The Secret Garden” or “Michele’s Kitchen” – ballads dedicated to his wife – but “Hell’s Mouth” is given a dramatic air and “The Glyny” a reflective briskness. With the deceptively simple tracks – be it mournful “View From A Hill” or lucid “Bright Shines The Sun” – channeling traditional tunes, there’s timeless feel to the album which can alleviate any traveler’s fatigue.
In other words, it’s a faithful companion from a compassionate fellow voyager.