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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
Other reviews from The Sounding Board by R J Lannan:
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Time and Again
By Bob Kilgore
Label: Weaseltrap Records
Released 3/1/2016
Time and Again tracks
2. Time and Again  
3. Stone Lions  
4. Find the Lady  
5. Caravan Jam  
6. Approaching Joy  
7. Meeting of Waters  
8. Tap Jockey  
9. All I Can Say  
10. Once Upon a Sky  
11. Stop Motion  
12. On Point  
13. The Tortoise and Achilles  
Vox Perfecta
Listening to guitarist Bob Kilgore’s new album Time and Again is like going to the library. You cruise the aisles, you stop at different rows, you go to the dusty corners, up into the shelves and even down into the basement. What you pick up or more appropriately, discover time and again when you come out is an adventure. Kilgore is a guitarist’s guitarist which means melody and composition are all for this man. He spent four years tuning this album and it is note-perfect. Bob is not prolific, but what he delivers is a carefully crafted recording every time. His style is unique. He taps on his fretboard to produce an unusual sound that still retains the depth and individuality of the notes and he produces a singular result. When I hear Kilgore’s music I am often reminded of artists such as Jeff Pearce or perhaps even Michael Hedges. Helping Bob on this thirteen track contemporary album is his brother Bear Kilgore on keyboards and cello by Sarah Dean. Three instruments do an orchestra make.

IDIBITS is the opening tune. How he plays the bass notes against the main theme is a feat of magic considering he is tapping more than using any other technique. One might think that he had more hands than the rest of us. It is a tune that is a funnel for high energy. All the tunes on the album have the sense of movement. All are urging forward at various speeds, but the destination seems the same. To discover the energy inside us.

The title tune, Time and Again is methodical, but breathtakingly fluid. There is an ensemble favor to the music as Bob is joined by Bear and Sarah on the piece. Their contribution softens the music somewhat. The tune is pensive as if we, the listeners are given time to ponder great thoughts, consider problems and even perhaps consider the future. Many things occur over and over, but the music suggests we have choice. Change or…?

Suggesting that the spirits are strong, Stone Lions has an animated structure that is dynamic and complex. The strength it takes to perform the song is immense, but Bob seems to have the stamina. There is a tangible force in the music, driving, pushing it and taking it past mortal limits. It was one of the best cuts on the album.

Caravan Jam takes us on the Silk Road where there is heat and sand and the destination is across a vast sea of desert. I have to admit there seems to be a bit of Moorish/Spanish influences, but that just makes the journey that much spicier.

Once Upon a Sky is storybook song. It is bright with harmonics and with a catchy melody. It is the intonation of a clear, blue sky, a warm sunny day, and maybe the salty tang of ocean somewhere in the background. It suggests that you can climb that mountain, sail that skiff or follow the yellow brick road. Adventure awaits you.

Kilgore takes on Zeno’s Paradox in the song The Tortoise and Achilles. This story is old as ancient Greece and as modern as fuzzy logic, but suffice it to say the tortoise wins no matter what. It comes down to a question of infinity and Bob’s tune covers the time it takes to think about it. His fretwork is indescribable frantic, but incredibly precise as he taps out the race for the unknown. His phrasing suggests that speed may be a factor, but still the tortoise wins.

Time if anything is irreversible, but surprisingly, some things happen again and again. The sun rising, the stars shining, or the smile of the beloved. And it is that reliability, that little miracle that we can rely on that Bob’s music praises. We can count on the believable as well as the fantastic. Bob Kilgore’s exceptional compositions are proof enough for me.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 3/25/2017
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