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Published: 2012/08/08
by Bill Clifford

Lyle Brewer
Music To my Fears

Self Released

A graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory in Boston, Lyle Brewer has been making music in and around New England for a number of years. He’s been an in demand session and touring player, the lead guitarist with Sarah Borges (his wife) and the Broken Singles, and most notably since 2010, with the Ryan Montbleau Band. He’s starting to step out of the shadow and into the spotlight, and beginning to establish a name for himself.

Late in 2011, the guitarist released his debut solo EP – Music To My Ears. It’s a exquisite, instrumental 6-track CD that gets right to the heart of his Jazz Performance background, yielding traces of influences such as John Scofield and Bill Frisell. It begins with him alone, on acoustic guitar. “O’Harra” certainly reflects on his heritage, but it’s the kind of lovely, short Irish folk melody that would stop anyone in their tracks to hush and listen. Then, just as he’s grabbed your attention and has you sitting, listening quietly and intently, the electric kicks in on the soulful, rolling bluesy groove of “Somerville Shuffle.” Longtime Boston musicians Dean Casell on bass and Mike Piehl on drums round out the trio here, adding stellar rhythm throughout.

“Twins and Twins” is a down tempo blues number that aches and burns as he flies up and down the neck of a electric guitar. “Way It Was” is the song for driving with the top down and your hair in the air – a thriving and ambitious rocker that finds his electric guitar laden with effects and reverb. “Mary Elizabeth” is a lovely ballad that could certainly be someone’s wedding song, and then we’re back to where we started with the acoustic toe tapper, “Bogtrotter Blues,” a surprisingly upbeat blues shuffle.

There’s nothing to be fearful about on Music To My Fears. Perfect for a late afternoon cookout or just lounging in the afternoon sun; jazz and blues aficionados should dig right in and enjoy.

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