Andreas Aase Maus
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Andreas Aase
Maus
Raven Records (www.ravenrecords.no)

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A few months back I talked with Norwegian guitarist Andreas Aase about his 2003 folk music project with fiddler Sturla Eide Sundli, Glimmer. Since then he has completed a "solo" project that is quite a different beast. Maus brings his 6- and 12-string acoustic guitars, bouzoukis, mandolin and lap steel guitar to the fore in a variety of settings, often reminiscent of John Fahey's lumbering Americana or Adrian Legg's spacious guitar visions. He surrounds his original instrumental pieces with tuba, cornet, bass and a wonderfully ragged and often quirky percussion kit supplied by drummer Tor Haugerud. The ensemble moves from simple dance tunes to folk-rockish medleys, through some ragtime turns and a bit of jazz. It's all well integrated, and the guitarist really lets his ensemble stay in the front, reserving his own formidable displays of virtuosity for the solo (or near-solo) numbers, where his skill and sensitivity on the guitar positively shines. He finger picks, flat picks, slides and thumps his way along, each piece full of personality while always musically unpretentious. Aase is an original and this album opens up a completely different, less folk-driven avenue for him to pursue. - CF

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