Mark Vickness Takes Over on New LP Interconnected
The acoustic guitar, in all its myriad varieties, has a thousand voices, perhaps for each day. Mark Vickness seemingly speaks all of them with his stringed instrument. He’s selected the choicest for Interconnected, an eight-song affair featuring four solos and four tracks with an ensemble of assorted strings players and a percussionist. There’s also a live version of one of the tunes.
Notwithstanding the synergy at work in his collaborations with the others, it’s nearly impossible to best Vickness’s lone musings on his independent efforts. “Mia Lucia” is a prime example of this characteristic of the album. Its beauty is sheer, singular, and highlights the timeless ability of the acoustic guitar to fill all space, to takeover all emotions, in whatever room, hall or auditorium it’s heard. The cut’s pace and overall feel have obvious classic overtones yet breathe with an updated, almost naturalistic vibe characteristics of the great outdoors.
If “Lucca” is the quintessential ballad, then “Bodega Blue” is its antithesis. Another solo offering from Vickness, it surely fails to rush listeners to the dancefloor yet is unwavering in its ability to up the ante or produce a head nodding effect. “Blue” is characterized by a down home, soulful feel that would work wonderfully looped up with programmed drums driving it.
The results of the ensemble are unpredictable to say the least, yet imbue the collection with a definite sense of energy and, perhaps, purpose. “Grey Skye” is likely the summit of the synthesis of Vickness on guitar, Mads Tolling on violin, Joseph Herbert manning the cello, and Dan Feiszli and Ty Burhoe holding down the bass and tabla (a percussive instrument), respectively. In addition to his conventional guitar playing Vickness busts out some guitar harmonics or chords, creating compelling mood music amidst the backdrop of symphony quality strings.
Sometimes the sounds are slow and eerie, befitting of a tension filled passage in a suspenseful blockbuster flick, which characterizes some of the more notable moments on the title track. Other times the bunch’s work is unabashedly reflective, if not introspective. Whatever feel they’re going for, with Vickness speaking in manifold voices on his guitar, he gets there—whether on his own or with his cronies.