New Album Review: Grant Ferguson
Artist: Grant Ferguson
Album: Windswept Isle Release: 2022 Grant Ferguson's music is in a constant state of evolution. One of the things that makes him so interesting is how his music is almost undefinable. His recordings are always straddling multiple genres, flirting with the edges of so many styles of music but never really planting his feet firmly in any one of them. He is an equal balance of composer and guitarist that creates soundscapes where the guitar is the featured instrument, but the composition is far bigger than the guitar playing. His latest effort Windswept Isle is a six song set that has twists and turns that take the listener on a musical roller coaster that engages the ear throughout. So many guitar players that are making instrumental rock records are virtually indiscernible from one another, but that is definitely not the case with Grant's music. His compositions seem to take priority over flaunting guitar prowess. Make no mistake, he has the chops to deliver, but instead serves the song with an appropriate and memorable guitar line. One of my favorite tracks on the album is Beyond The Veil. It is somewhere between The Edge from U2, Mark Knopfler, Clapton and Trans Siberian Orchestra. Grant's playing and tone are top shelf at every turn, but it's the depth of the composition that separates him from the sea of great guitar players.
Force of Nature is a standout as well. The track begins with a string piece that should be a movie trailer, creating drama and tension that is all building up to a Celtic influenced guitar line that brings the polished band into the fold. At the two minute mark the song takes an unexpected turn to the mellow side that works absolutely perfectly. At the end of the song a bluesy David Gilmour influenced solo puts the icing on the cake. The dynamics and arrangement of this cut are a stellar example of what makes Grant special. Sunday Promenade is a soulful track that comes in with an intro that feels like a nod to Hendrix. The song quickly takes a turn towards smooth jazz, but again never really completely committing 100% to the genre. Giving just enough of the contemporary jazz vibe to make the listener realize the depth of Grant's well. His ability to melt into a genre while still keeping his unique fingerprint and form on it is his undeniable strength. If you enjoy instrumental rock guitar I highly recommend you check out this and his previous albums. His ability to craft a song is second to none. The production on his records is always a pillar of excellence. He has an innate ability to layer the instruments into a massive and colorful end result that should inspire musicians to think beyond their own instruments and look through the big picture lens.