Guitarist Daniel Bachman is prolific. The double length River issued by Three Lobed, is his sixth album in the last four years, and ninth since 2010. It also marks the first set he's recorded in a proper recording studio. Masterfully recorded by Brian Haran at Pinebox in North Carolina, it was cut in a single day and is free of overdubs.
At their best and worst, solo acoustic guitar albums can feel like workshops, demonstrations meant to spotlight a player’s depth or breadth of knowledge and technique. A genteel folk shuffle cedes to a gnarly blues moan, or a ragtime ditty yields to an extended raga improvisation. Maybe there’s a banjo number, a fiddle tune, or a collage of field-recording abstraction, where crickets chirp or creeks trickle beneath incidental chords.
Daniel Bachman—River (Three Lobed)River is dedicated to Richard Cizik, Jr. That name might ring a bell because of the dedicatee’s famous dad, a writer and former higher-up in the National Association of Evangelicals who garnered lots of attention by following his faith right across the political spectrum, to the point where he currently maintains that Christian values mandate action against climate change and marriage exclusions. Association with the angels doesn’t guarantee anyone immunity from tragedy — fresh out of rehab, the younger Cizik died from an accidental OD a week before Christmas in 2013.