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Paul Blissett Luna Album Review

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Paul Blissett Luna – Album Review

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Style: Rock, country, jazz and blues
Release Date: 2012
Label: PMB Music



Paul Blissett of Ottawa, Ontario, has been playing the guitar since he was a young boy. Blissett started playing in clubs in both Ontario and Quebec at the age of 16, in which he became immersed in various bands, playing blues, pop, country and rock. Over the last few years Blissett has started to carve his own successful solo career. During this time, Blissett has become engaged in creating instrumental music, using the guitar as the driving force behind his creative apex.

In 2007 he released Fire and Soul, followed by Guitar Christmas in 2010. In 2012 Blissett released Luna, a lengthy (17 tracks total), instrumental guitar-driven album that highlights various musical styles including rock, country, jazz and the blues. The album is a great example of how instrumental music can stand on it’s own, a feat Blissett accomplishes through years of practice on his craft.

The opening song on the album “Memphis” is a 12-bar blues track which introduces us to Blissett’s passion and his virtuoso on the guitar. “Slinky Blues” has a similar feel to “Memphis”, with a blues progression anchoring the tone of the song, yet Blissett seems to improvise a little more on “Slinky Blues”, trading riffs with a saxophonist, adding more depth and layering to the overall feel of the track.

“Luna”, the third track on the album, also the name of the album, plays at a much lower tempo than the first two tracks, but it’s one of the first obvious indications of the versatility in Blissett’s playing. However, “Walk Don’t Run” picks the tempo back up, leading into the country-blues infused track “Tuxedo Junction.”

The opening tracks of Luna appropriately set the tone for the remainder of the album. Throughout the work, Blissett displays his guitar talents through multiple styles, showing he is capable of shredding a blues solo, but also proficient in producing melodic jazz and country licks. This contrast offers varying tones and textures that not only showcase Blissett’s song writing skills, but his understanding of various musical genres. It’s this dynamic that pushes the album forward, enriching the overall flow of the album.

Two songs at the midway point in the album, “Apache” and “Night Train” particularly stood out to me. “Apache” has a very cool old-west, country feel to it, making it one of my favourite tracks on the album. “Night Train”, another favourite of mine, draws its influence from jazz, a style that Blissett seems to be well versed in. It’s this aspect of Blissett’s playing that makes Luna such an enjoyable listen, particularly for those who play the guitar and appreciate the technical proficiency of Blissett’s playing. The versatility he has playing multiple genres is astounding and Blissett shows nothing but confidence as he switches styles, freely, from song-to-song.

One critique I do have of the album is it feels long, especially by the 11th and 12th track. Although many of the songs are shorter (some being less than 2 minutes in length) I felt like the album, as a whole, would have made much more of an impact if was condensed. For instance, “I Fall to Pieces” and “Trambone” felt similar in nature and I thought the album would have been stronger without them.

Although Luna appears long at times, this doesn’t spoil the enjoyment of the album as a whole. Gems like “The Groove”, “Dance-On” and “Along the Navajo Trail” are strong tracks that make up the core of the last half of the album and take Luna to its zenith.

Luna will appeal to those who enjoy various textures and sounds of the electric guitar and don’t mind the absence of vocals. Because some of the songs are so short, the vocals aren’t missed; Blissett’s melodies and hooks do a great job of supplementing the space where vocals would be. Ultimately, Luna is a treat for those who enjoy the sounds of various guitar-playing styles and Blisset proves that his versatility and dedication are some of his strongest assets making Luna his strongest work yet.

By: Ty Hooper


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