I've been enamored with the fingerpicked style of guitar for quite a few years now and it always amazes me how such a similar technical style can yield so many varied undertones of emotion. For such a young player James Blackshaw seems to have really carved out a place for himself amongst his peers. His style is marked by a restrained beauty and calm wonderment that sometimes surpasses older players who give up style for intensity. Blackshaw's latest record The Cloud of Unknowing expounds upon his circular style of playing and fills each repetition with a sublime joy and comfortability with his instrument. Adding some extra percussive and orchestral bits to his sound, Blackshaw has created his most wondrous and achingly beautiful record yet, which considering some of the recordings he's produced in such a short time, really speaks to his ability. This record feels right for the coming summer; a calm lay in the grass pulling shapes from tattered clouds, the smell of childhood in your nose and the feel of playful wind on your ears. The Cloud of Unknowing is out now on Tompkins Square Records.
[MP3] James Blackshaw -Running to the Ghost