Songs Of Naka Peida

Peggy Green

Independent release, 2000

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Say the words "acoustic resonator guitar," and most people would give you a stare like a deer caught in a car's headlights. Say "dobro," though, and more people might recognize what you're talking about. Yet dobro guitar work isn't something you hear a lot of anymore. Sure, it's still present in some blues and country music, but for the most part, your chances of hearing a dobro are about the same as Eminem being the grand marshall at a gay rights parade.

Then, there's Peggy Green. Her album Songs Of Naka Peida, is a different approach to both acoustic resonator guitar music and to new age music. This isn't fancy picking to show off one's skills. This is music that comes straight from the heart and the mind, and challenges the listener to allow themselves to be taken on a journey that has no set path nor an easy flight. It's hauntingly beautiful.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If I've read Green's story correctly, she has suffered some injury to her hands which keep her from playing acoustic guitar in the way you or I would be used to. Instead, she has shifted her attention to pedal dobro guitars, which allow here the ability to create music that crosses all rules and boundaries. In a way, what she creates is a mournful blues, but she's also able to paint mental pictures with her music that could illustrate a sunrise as much as a lightning storm.

It's a different experience, to be sure - and it's not always the easiest musical style to embrace. It took me a few attempts to get through the disc's opening track "Fair Affliction" before the lightbulb went on and I realized just what Green was trying to get across.

Further efforts, as heard on "Wrong Stop Blue," "Love's Lost Chance" and "Nakahama," try to create a balance between the Japanese scenes that Green saw as she recorded these (the bulk of the disc was recorded in Japan) and the Americanization of the music through the dobros. The listener is also given the chance to hear musical ideas being pulled out of thin air on the three-song suite "Improvisations In The Moonlit Dawn," which are sparse but strangely intriguing.

Songs Of Naka Peida is admittedly not a disc you'll immediately take a shine to, nor is it one which will find a constant home in the CD changer. But what Green does is create some interesting mood music, and it's a disc which you'll undoubtedly find yourself drawn to when the muse moves you. I could see myself listening to this disc as a spring shower fell outside of my bedroom window. (Of course, I'm writing this in the heart of winter, so that's a moot point, I guess.) Whatever the case may be, there's enough on Songs Of Naka Peida that should move you in some manner, and will provide you with a gentle way to spend 45 minutes or so escaping the pressures of the world.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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