Sunday, May 22, 2011

Music Notes – Frio Suite

Phil Keaggy is one of the finest guitar players most of you have never heard of, and Jeff Johnson is a keyboardist and producer extraordinaire. I have long found their music, particularly the instrumental albums, uplifting. When I found that they had collaborated on a project, I had to give it a listen.
Frio Suite is a beautiful sounding album, meant  to evoke the wonder of the Frio River in Texas. The two had met at a retreat at Laity Lodge. Though I have never been here, the music certainly does make me want to take the trip. Each song brings a sense of peace and communion to mind.
While there are plenty of tasty moments by both performers, fans should not expect the kind of fireworks one usually hears from Keaggy’s guitar or the ballad/hymn like runs from Johnson’s keyboard. These can be found, but they are more subtle, perhaps. The album is more about texture. That said, the music does not disappoint.
What is disappointing, as least for me, is that I paid more for this project than is usual for digital albums, and got nothing extra. The CD supposedly comes with images from artist Kathy Hastings (who did the cover), but nothing comes to the purchaser of the album in digital format.

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