A member of local groups the Often Ensemble and Warrior Poets, guitarist Johann Helton has recorded a polished, soothing solo acoustic guitar CD. Boiseans who have heard him play know that Helton treats his instrument like a canvas. He paints softly, methodically, enjoying the process as much as the creation. The result is a collection of relaxed musical moods - somber, romantic, yearning, dreamy.
"Where Mountains End" and "And Clouds Begin" are separate songs with no audible connection, but putting them together as the album's title at least indicates Helton's musical leanings. On songs such as "Fastenings Of Kind," it's easy to close your eyes and float off into the stratosphere.
Helton breaks out a parlor guitar on a couple of tracks, revealing a more reverberated tone. Both are strong tracks, particularly the jazzy "Looking For Moo", a nice change of pace.
But, mostly, Helton is content to celebrate the art of being mellow for nearly 65 minutes, never venturing into anything risky, unusual, or mildly aggressive.
That said, these soundscapes are explored with grace and pure tranquility. - Michael Deeds
Check out the artist's website:
1. Where Mountains End
2. October Sky
4. Speaking Softly
5. A Kinder World
6. Fastenings of Kind
7. Looking For Moo
8. Spirits of Summer
9. And Clouds Begin
11. Shortly After Dinner
12. Hyde Park Rain (Old Garbo)
14. Blue Roses
15. Smitten Into Nothingness
16. Magic Child (Matthew's Song)