James Blackshaw, The Cloud of Unknowing

Amelia Raitt

By Amelia Raitt

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

The Cloud Of Unknowing

James Blackshaw

Mentioned frequently alongside the likes of Jack Rose, Steffen Basho-Junghans and Sir Richard Bishop, James Blackshaw is one of the foremost purveyors of modern acoustic guitar. Only in his mid-twenties at the time of this recording, Blackshaw showcases a maturity far beyond his years in the five songs of The Cloud of Unknowing, whether it be in the sustained technical precision of "Stained Glass Windows" or the emotional chords touched by "Running to the Ghost." The latter is aided by glockenspiel, but aside from the avant sidelight "Clouds Collapse," the album is almost entirely composed of Blackshaw's acoustic. Lucky for us, it's a wondrous sound.