The Folk Roots List Folk, roots, acoustic and americana news and gigs

FRL News

Chris Flegg - New Album - Twenty's Plenty

This album is a collection of twenty of my compositions for solo acoustic guitar, some of which have been previously released on various albums and here given a fresh interpretation, and some of which are presented for the first time. All tracks were recorded in standard tuning using a Martin OMC-41 Richie Sambora Signature Model guitar

Chris Flegg

Chris Flegg's eleventh album Twenty's Plenty was conceived in the UK lockdown of 2020 when gigs were being cancelled and most opportunities for performing just vanished. The idea was to turn a bad situation into a creative opportunity, to put together an album of new recordings of solo guitar pieces based on Chris back catalogue and include some which were newly written. The result is an album of twenty compositions covering influences from contemporary folk to rag time and jazz. Tunes previously only available in multi-instrumental recordings are here arranged for solo guitar, and previously recorded solo pieces are given fresh interpretation and variations.

All tracks were recorded using the same acoustic guitar, a Martin OMC-41 Richie Sambora, one of a limited edition of less than 200 and signed by both Richie Sambora and C F Martin IV himself. For simplicity, the recording setup was to use just the output of the onboard Fishman preamp in contrast to previous albums where the guitar was close miked.

The Tunes: Chris uses standard guitar tuning throughout and, while pitching some tunes in E and A (tracks 2, 5, 7, 8, 11) to let open strings ring through phrases, he also favours E♭ and F in tracks for tunes where chord work is more important (tracks 1, 6, 9, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18), a fondness for these '♭' keys coming from years of working with brass players. Placing the album in a single genre is not easy; you might hear the country/ rag time influences of the finger picking style of players like Chet Atkins or Stefan Grossman in tracks 1, 4, 7, and 10 or perhaps the jazz influence of Django Reinhardt or Joe Pass in the chord work of tracks 3, 6, 9, 14, and 20 but Chris likes to think these compositions stand apart and generate a style and feel of their own. You could find the album under easy listening, great for background or incidental music, but each track is also worthy of close listening and guitarists especially will appreciate the easy sounding rendition of some tricky chord work such as in the title track, Twenty's Plenty, where the main theme has a different chord for every melody note.