Many times, guitar albums seem like they’re recorded for other guitarists only. But The California Guitar Trio’s latest release, Echoes, has plenty for the non-guitarist to enjoy. Trio members – Hideyo Moriya, Paul Richards and Bert Lams – dip into a dazzlingly diverse songbook, taking tunes from Ludwig Van Beethoven (“Pastorale”), Pink Floyd (“Echoes”), Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells”), Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Freebird”), among others, and giving them a very fresh and compelling six-string treatment. In this context, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” sounds like a long-lost Mozart composition. And with the bass, percussion and vocals stripped away, the brilliance of Freddie Mercury’s melodies and arrangements can be fully appreciated.
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