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Pete KentPete Kent
Album: The Hidden Hand
Label: Revolver
Tracks: 11

A road trip to Glasgow with my two twenty-something lads was a good chance to see if they shared my taste in acoustic music.

And Pete Kent's album of instrumentals might have been a step too far but I needn't have worried.

Eleven tracks featuring eight originals and three intriguing covers makes for an interesting collection of tunes. From the first bars of the opening track Icon, they were full of appreciation.

His debut album, Sands Of Time, was released in 2013 and The Hidden Hand follows a similar path. There are three covers - Everywhere by Fleetwood Mac, The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby and Hot Water by Level 42.

The entire album showcases this Wolverhampton-based guitarist's immense talent.

There is a whole rage of different techniques to appreciate. The sublime finger-picking is there for all to hear, sometimes accompanied with some rhythmic percussion.

And while an entire album of guitar instrumentals may not be everyone's cup of tea, there is enough light and shade to keep most people happy. The hi-tempo opener is followed by a slower, slap-happy Every Time I See Your Face, a throbbing bass line holding it all together very nicely.

The title track is another up-tempo whirlwind of a tune - with mesmerising single string runs.

I can see why Level 42's Hot Water is a favourite of Pete's - with it's superb bass lines - this is a superb version, full of fretboard gymnastics. Excellent.

After the fireworks of Hot Water we are brought down to earth with the lilting When The Light Go Down, a reflective piece that soothes the soul.

Fleetwood Mac's Everywhere is superbly carried off - sometimes it hard to imagine there's just one player here. Lovely.

The Devil's Chair heralds more string-sapping runs, Skyline is more thoughtful but nevertheless intricate.

The Way It Is is another excellent example of Pete's skills, slapping away while the guitar gently weeps. Superb stuff.

The final track, One Trick Pony, is the shortest on the album but it is a cracker to finish with. Fireworks indeed.

If you appreciate consummate musicianship then this one album you should listen to.


John Knighton