Liam Grant / - Amoskeag

Buscadero -#470 - Oct 2023

[OCR'd and Google translated...]

Apparently, Liam Grant learned to communicate through the sound of an old 12-string guitar before he even knew how to read and write and judging by what we hear in his new studio album Amoskeag, it would be the only truth of a biography quite fictionalized which claims he was weaned by a pack of wolves, raised by a hermit on hallucinogens and currently residing near Gate City New Hampshire in none other than the packaging of a refrigerator in the company of a one-eyed cat. At the moment it is impossible to trace the reality of the facts and his biographical notes are to be interpreted as a hyperbole of the daring lives of the bluesmen who inspired the author, but it is very probable that Liam Grant really began playing the guitar in preschool age , developing the prodigious technique that today the industry magazine Dynamite Hemorrhage defines as "pyrotechnics", explaining the adjective as "when it seems like four hands are playing, when in fact there are only two... ", as often happened on records by John Fahey and in those of Jack Rose and as happens today in the six extraordinary tracks of Amoskeag. The self-managed debut album Swung Heavy: Gittar For Fanatics came out in 2021 and immediately makes it clear what the influences of Liam Grant are, who interprets songs by Jack Rose, Son House and Charlie Patton alongside a handful of his own compositions; subsequently he released only a couple of singles, a cassette and participated with a track in the celebrations Ten Years Gone: A Tribute To Jack Rose and Solstice: A Tribute To Steffen Basho-Junghans curated by guitarist Buck Curran, but it is clearly Amoskeag, the first album composed exclusively of original material, which gives a glimpse of the artist's immense slow talent. Archaic country, pre-war folk, Appalachian bluegrass, spirited ragtime, primitive blues and even avant-garde and psychedelia intertwine in six long instrumental tracks mostly for acoustic guitar alone, pervaded by a sense of immediacy and authenticity that Liam Grant he achieves with a sound that is at times urgent, lyrical and imaginative and with a completely personal style. Published by the small independent label Carbon Records, Amoskeag is a record for which the press notes use adjectives such as ", the same time dense and enjoyable...vintage and modern, new and timeless. ..", giving only a vague idea of how much beauty pervades the complex and rhythmic phrasings of the grandiose Stratton-Eustis, recovered from the aforementioned tribute to Jack Rose; the airy folk drapery and fluid tempo changes of a scenic East Of Canaan; the lysergic raga of a dronata and experimental Kenduskaeg, recorded with the second guitar of Ethan WL and the accompaniment of the collective The Suncook Symphony; the floating Faheyan arpeggios of the airy title track; the jagged and experimental blues of a wonderful Last Night On Dead River played with the violin of Mike Gangloff of the Black Twig Pickers or the dusty Appalachian bluegrass of a spacious Androscogging River Ragg with Gangloff again on the wind chimes and Grayson McGuire on the banjo . An imaginative and eclectic guitarist gifted with extraordinary technique and sensitivity, Liam Grant is one of the most inspired soloists you will ever hear: as the webzine Folk Radio UK underlines "... a musician to keep an eye on ..."


Other Reviews of Amoskeag

NPR: Viking's Choice

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Aquarium Drunkard

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NPR - All Songs Considered

by Lars Gotrich , Bob Boilen


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