Don Campau – “Silo”

As a solid collection of solo acoustic guitar work from long-time KKUP-FM DJ Don Campau, “Silo” presents an easy-going face of improvisational music less-often heard than its more academic counterparts. Throughout, Campau features a simple fingerpicking style with traces of many musical genres without making much effort to “belong” in any. What did you expect from someone hosting a show called “No Pigeonholes,” anyway?

Sounding a lot like a more fluid version of my own acoustic explorations, Campau lets his fingers wander where inspiration strikes– a clawed chord here, a sudden slide there, unexpected beginnings and endings. As often as Campau hits upon an intriguing figure, such as the bluesy vamp in “Flax;” he’ll shift to something unanticipated, like the double-picking and pulloffs ending “Quinoa”.

This is the stuff that is the makings of genres, and it is nice to encounter those not already working within an established area of music, if only for a short while.

Technically, the sound quality is pretty damn good– I believe you can actually hear Campau breathing on a couple tracks. A simple pressed-paper sleeve rounds everything out, and was a great introduction to Campau’s Lonely Whistle Music label for me. Recommended for fans of John Fahey, Mike Tamburo, or Derek Bailey’s less brittle material.

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