"Time Stands Still" is Welsh guitarist Mike Howe's debut album and contains just under an hour of some of the most soothing acoustic guitar music I've heard. An ecologist in a Welsh national park, Howe's music is inspired by the natural world where he lives and works as well as the people and places he has known. A relatively late-starter to the creative end of music, this self-taught artist doesn't play with a lot of fancy fingerwork, but the depth of emotion and sincerity in his music more than compensate. His easy rapport with his guitar and the gentle background sounds on bass, keyboards, and percussion (also played by Howe) combine to make this a very impressive first album. As is always true with Real Music releases, the production quality is stellar. It is difficult to classify Howe's music, but his simple, straightforward songs reflect folk traditions with a contemporary sensibility. More than anything, this music is humble, heartfelt, and strikingly beautiful. The warmth and serenity felt in the fifteen quiet melodies are very personal yet easily accessible. The CD maintains a calming mood from start to finish, but the individual pieces are distinctive and unique. Sure to ease away the stresses of the day and create an enchanting atmosphere, "Time Stands Still" is a must for anyone who enjoys acoustic guitar music. Recommended!
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Kathy Parsons (kathypiano)
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more
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Welsh park ranger by day, sensitive acoustic guitarist by night, this dude's day job certainly gives him the space to be a sensitive guitarist as he's surrounded by a lot of nature and probably a lot of solitude. If 'Local Hero' gave us any indication, then things haven't changed much. A nice look back at simplicity and elegance meeting at the vortex and making pure music that easily touches you. A very winning debut. --Chris Spector - Midwest Record Recap