Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Luke Brindley

presspassWith seven album releases, Luke Brindley has become a prolific fixture in the Washington, D.C. music scene. Of course, most “fixtures” aren’t as unpredictable as Brindley is.

 

presspass

Luke Brindley (Photo: Stephen Churchill Downes)

 

With seven album releases, Luke Brindley has become a prolific fixture in the Washington, D.C. music scene. Of course, most “fixtures” aren’t as unpredictable as Brindley is.

Just when you think you’ve got a fix on his direction, he seems to change up and veer towards something completely different. Many listeners were first introduced to Brindley’s compositions in conjunction with his brother, Daniel, when they performed as the Brindley Brothers. Their work together took on a Bruce Springsteen meets Tom Petty vibe. Going solo, his next effort enjoyed a more Americana/folk flavor that earned him the Washington Area Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album of the Year. An untitled, upcoming, fan-financed release strays more towards the pop genre. But, Solo Guitar, another recent release takes him in yet another direction.

As the title suggests, Solo Guitar, is comprised of five all-instrumental tracks featuring only Brindley’s six-string. For those unaware of Brindley’s penchant for making those strings sing, Solo Guitar is a staggering, if short, work that blindsides you with how it perfectly puts his talent on display.

I’ve been following Brindley’s career for the better part of five years and never was I aware that he was capable of acoustic compositions that could make Tim Reynolds blush. The album lights off with “Threshold,” a breezy track that recalls shades of “Greensleaves,” better known as the theme music for Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang.

From there, Brindley bounces over to cover Bruce Cockburn’s “Foxglove.” Tight triplets and a buoyant bass line highlight the track, painting a picture of a carefree summer afternoon, kicking pebbles down an old dirt road. The journey next winds its way into a more exotic environment with “Dervish.” Eastern overtones and a foreboding bass line conjure up images of a smoky hookah bar bursting with international intrigue and, as the tempo rises, spilling out into the sandy streets a la some kind of James Bond chase sequence.

“The Lark” offers a fun and frivolous package that absolutely oozes Nick Drake, the only thing missing are the folk singer’s signature vocal stylings. Of course, the guitar track itself is so gripping it’s hard to think the track could be absent of anything.

The album wraps with “The Eighth Day,” a fast-paced track that traverses the fret board from top to bottom and finishes with a flourish of strings in the final strum.

All told the album clocks in at under 15 minutes, with no song even scratching past the four minute mark. That marks the only complaint one can muster: I wish there was even more to enjoy.

Brindley will show off his six-string savvy with a show on Thursday, April 22 at The Barns at Wolf Trap. The show will also feature songs off of the aforementioned upcoming album that has been paid for thanks to fan contributions.  For more information on that album, as well as Solo Guitar, visit www.lukebrindley.com.