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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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In A Silent Place
By Eric Roberts
Label: Music Magic Productions
Released 3/1/2005
In A Silent Place tracks
1. In A Silent Place
2. New Love
3. Remembering You
4. The River Runs
5. Snow
6. Flowing
7. Journey Through Time
8. Cella's Song
9. Reflections I
10. Reflections II
11. Reflections III
12. A Stringy Dialogue
13. Lullaby
Reflective Attributes
Eric Roberts' new album entitled In a Silent Place is escape music, pure and simple. These are warm, reflective movements blended with smooth jazz elements that make up this fascinating New Age and contemporary instrumental CD. Roberts music gently flows like a cool Colorado stream that empties into a tiny pool in the back of your mind. You can think, drift and dream as Roberts’ guitar lulls you into a world that you create. Call it facilitating music. Joining Eric on several tracks are avant-garde cellist David Darling (album Cello Blue, one of my all-time favorites), Robert Weinstein on guitar and Ed Contreras on percussion. This small ensemble puts out some grand music.

Like the simple picture on the album cover, a guitar on a chair with artwork reminiscent of Monet’s Water Lilies, Eric recalls in music his carefree days in Europe. It was time he took to reflect and create. And like a Monet painting, this album of thirteen placid tracks is his creation that has come to life in brilliant music.

In A Silent Place, the title track meanders from the speakers like a brook through the deep forest. Dragon flies buzz about as the sun warms your skin and the only sound is the music, your breathing and the breeze through the aspens. Even clouds are shy on a day like this.

Like browsing through old, sepia photographs and then color pictures, the tune Journey Through Time is a passage from one era into another. The graceful music, featuring Darling’s moody cello, travels along an invisible track like a quiet train. Your traveling companions are Eric‘s light guitar licks and Contreras’ pitter patter percussion. It is one of my favorite cuts.

The River Runs, a finalist at the Independent Music Awards, is an award winning song that represents a good example of Roberts talent as a performer as well as a songwriter. With a Bosa Nova beat and Darling’s sometimes eerie cello, Roberts follows the course of a river as it snakes through forest, field, and mountain pass. As in life there are calm, gentle stretches and there is white water. And, as in life, all rivers eventually reach to the sea, evaporate into the clouds and fall like blessed rain. This is the best track on In a Silent Place.

With just his guitar and a snippet of synthesizer Roberts plays Cella’s Song, a tribute to his wife (who is also a talented musician). It is a sweet ballad that clearly says I love you in so many ways. Other noteworthy tracks are a series called Reflections I-II-III. More improvisational than standard songs, they are performed by Roberts in an impromptu manner. They are similar to tone poems, but a bit more melodic and relaxing.

To close the album, the engaging song Lullaby bids you goodnight and pleasant dreams. It features Robert Weinstein on very mellow guitar. You can almost hear the strains of Rock-A-My-Baby snuggled inside the tune. It is a soothing piece that produces dreams a plenty.

Eric Roberts took up the guitar as a teen. He holds music degrees from both Ithaca College and from the University of Miami. He plays bass and bandura as well guitar and his fruitful career has allowed him to perform with greats such as Chuck Berry, The Drifters and Maureen McGovern. This new album with cello wizard David Darling is destined for recognition.

Roberts’ relaxing music goes way beyond most murmuring “chill out” fare with virtuosity and variety. Eric – you can play for us any time.

Rating: Very Good   Very Good
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 1/4/2010
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