Acoustic Guitar Summit
Takoma, Windham Hill, Kicking Mule … if those brand names mean anything to you, then this sweet little disc should make you feel like a cat on its back, paws up, getting its belly gently scratched. Mark Hanson is an acoustic guitarist who lives in suburban Portland; he’s written and published two fine tablature-based, how-to manuals on fingerstyle guitar picking. Paul Chassman, Doug Smith and Terry Robb are also first-rate fretboard wizards. Together they tackle everything from jazz (Django Reinhardt’s “Nuages”) to classic radio pop (“Mr. Sandman,” “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” “What a Wonderful World”) to classical (Tchaikovsky’s “Dance of the Sugar Plum”) and to classic rock (Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing”), along with some mighty tasty originals. No, there’s nothing earth-shattering here, just a relaxing outing by four guys who can play superb guitar while checking their egos at the door.