Nick Jonah Davis
“Of Time and Tides - Guitar Recordings Vol II”
Review by Andrew Stranglen
“Of Time and Tides” is a collection of 11 songs that would have seamlessly meshed into the Takoma catalogue. Nick is a fine player who strikes the balance between player and instrument, letting the guitar guide him as much as he is guiding it.
Fans of the Takoma & Kottke/Lang/Fahey (and others!) tradition, will not be disappointed in this latest coup de gras by Mr. Davis. Track 7, “Nocturne” is dominated by the piano, assumedly also played by Nick Jonah Davis (or perhaps pianist Ed Earl, see ‘Guitar Recordings Vol I') with just a slight hint of guitar accompaniment alongside. Track 10, “A Broken Circle” explores accompaniment of a single shimmering chord, reminiscent of John Fahey’s improvising against the hum of refrigerators and the like.
I know something is good, when I get lost in the reverie of listening to what I am supposed to be reviewing. I found nothing to dislike in this new album by Nick. He hails from somewhere in Nottingham, U.K. This probably means some British folk influences, Renbourn and others, are present, but not overwhelming. As I previously stated, this album could pass for a Takoma ‘blast from the past’. Being a guitar player myself, I also know something is good if it makes me reach for my guitar. This it did, but I restrained myself from playing alongside or stopping the playback to indulge myself, until it was over.
“Of Time and Tides”’s sequence is flawlessly chosen. Sometimes that can mean the difference between an okay album and an excellent album. But in this case it probably would not make a great difference if you shuffled things around a bit. Never boring, very captivating is my diagnosis, ***** Five Stars!
Good job Nick! -Andrew Stranglen
You can find Nick Jonah Davis on MySpace and buy the vinyl release on Tompkins Square.