Walter Strauss Guitar Virtuosity

Walter Strauss
Planet Solitaire
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Walter Strauss is dedicated to stretching the guitar’s boundaries, most recently through explorations of African music. On half of Planet Solitaire’s tracks his guitar emulates the kora. “Djimbashe” is a real tour de force, with cascading showers of notes, twisted and bent strings, and accented rhythms flying out of his hands. Africa meets Europe on “Gypsydish,” with the Spanish guitar melodies linked by fleet ngoni-like runs. Later he captures the feel of the tambura on a remake of George Harrison’s “Within In You Without You.” He even serves some country blues in a jazz-laced reworking of Woody Guthrie’s “The Great Historical Bum.” Both guitar and vocals are dreamy in ways that command close listening and occasionally feel unapproachable in their virtuosity and moodiness. But the talent speaks for itself.--Rob Weir

Strauss and local artist Jonathan Stevens will appear at the Signature Sounds Parlor Room on February 21.

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