Imaginational Anthem, vol. 2 – various artists
Tompkins Square Records
After garnering rave reviews with last years Imaginational Anthem, vol. 1, the folks at the independent label Tompkins Square have, of course, released Imaginational Anthem, vol. 2. The Imaginational Anthem series is, if you will, an acoustic guitar showcase. Vol. 2, unlike its predecessor, is an anthology of entirely unreleased material (in the United States, anyway) by artists such as Robbie Basho (with his first live recording), Fred Gerlach (whom guitar legend Jimmy Page sights as an inspiration), and Peter Lang, as well as a few songs recorded especially for this anthology.
The album is pretty much straight acoustic guitar music, which is exactly what it is supposed to be. It starts out slow and mellow — the first two tracks seem to drag on a bit (Peter Langs Future Shot at the Rainbow clocks in at a little over 10 minutes), and the third, Suggestions, by Jose Gonzalez, is so quiet that the volume simply must be turned up a few notches. When listening to Fred Gerlachs Devils Brew, the connection between Gerlach and Page is apparent. Quick riffs and fiery melodies showcase the guitarists talent — which does indeed mirror Pages playing.
Coinciding with the June release of the album is the kick off of Imaginational Anthem: The Tour. Theres no doubt that fans of classic rock, Imaginational Anthem, vol. 1, and acoustic music will be lining up for tickets. Something tells me that seeing live performances of these tunes — simply listening to them on Vol. 2 is a sub-par experience due to how quiet and slow the majority of the songs are — will bring them to life in the most imaginational way.