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Beyond the folk divide


Glenn Jones

Against Which the Sea Continually Beats
(Strange Attractors Audio House)
Essential: "Heartbreak Hill"

John Fahey's "Takoma school" of solo acoustic guitar playing inspired devotees ranging from musical magpie David Bowie to serious guitarists such as Glenn Jones of local instrumental rock band Cul de Sac. Even though Jones's musical career nears the 20-year mark, he's only now releasing a second set of, to quote the record's subtitle, "solos for 6- and 12-string guitar." Recorded on Martha's Vineyard over three days in September 2006, these 11 tracks range from the short, languid slide-blues intro, "Island 1," to the 11-minute Appalachian epic "Freedom Raga." Besides his determined, dexterous finger picking, Jones uses half-capos and alternative tunings to create incandescent sitar-like sounds. But it's not all about technique. Despite busier moments, when Jones issues flurries of notes or the sound becomes plangent and drama heightens, these shimmering musical meditations evoke a wondrous tranquility that's simply soulful. [Linda Laban]

Glenn Jones plays at P.A.'s Lounge tonight.