After salivating at the idea of Cam Deas giving us one more release to satisfy our hungry ears, I was happy to see that this same release, "My Guitar Is Alive and It’s Singing", originally pressed on vinyl, was finally released on CDR. It comes in a white digipack with a print (that looks more like a stamp) by Jake Blanchard. Jake has some cool designs, one of which is available on a t-shirt from the illustrious label, Blackest Rainbow. So, over all, nice design.
This CDR version comes with the same three incredible tracks that were hosted on LP format. Each one, lasting between 10 and 20 minutes, creates not a mere EP, but an actual full length. I mean, that’s over 41 minutes of quality music. Longer than most punk albums. And the tracks need such time to progress and grow, much like a pre-teen needs the high school years to blossom into a somewhat mature adult before shipping off to college. And progress they do.
The first track, "The Waters of Kvaloya", is a beautiful example of a complicated, fluid, developed piece. It starts off for the first few minutes with a handful of deliberately slow, minimal plucks. It’s as though the notes are shy and are unsure if they want to come out and be the center of attention. But as the composition moves forward the notes blossom into gorgeous exhibitionists, as they bare their entire splendor in typical acoustic Cam fashion. In a James Blackshaw-esque way, the track comes alive like a Frankenstein monster and gives us quite a treat. The climax of the track is familiar, a moodier take on what we heard on "For the Silver Waters, Sing!"
The second track, the title-track, is a little different than anything that I, at least, remember hearing come from Cam’s hands in the past. It is definitely one of his most experimental moments. It is completely an exploration of guitar sound. Don’t get me wrong, it is not noisy or unruly. It is actually almost an entire track that rings with silence, except for the few pickings. They sound like a crank grinding through the gears. Wonderful effect though of a guitar that is dead silent slowly coming to life with a breath of picks. It is as though the instrument has become an animate creature, or at least possesses the musician to do its will.
The third, final track, “As Spring Fell from the Leaves,” should be familiar to anyone who has any exposure to this great artist. It was the opening track on “For the Silver Waters, Sing!” It is probably one of Cam’s finest moments. This is far from just a re-release of that track on a different album, though. This track feels like a new incarnation of the original. It has a fuller, more vivacious sound to it. Definitely worth hearing this version. Get this album just to hear this touched-up track.
Cam Deas is one of the best acoustic instrumental artists out there. He fuses both his experimental side with his acoustic wizardry perfectly on this one. I can’t wait to hear more stuff from this guy! 9/10 -- Dave Miller (2 September, 2009)