the return of ELTJO!
fingerpicking sensation from the Netherlands....
From the blistering opening of “White Lightning” to the Celtic grace of “Planxty Irwin” guitarist and composer extraordinaire Haselhoff takes the listener on a journey that touches influences from Chet Atkins (Lenentine) to James Taylor (Song For JT). An exciting follow up to his extremely popular and well reviewed first project “Fingerstyle Guitar Solos”… “Guitar Magic” displays an artist growing by frets and bounds!
When I started to play guitar, around the age of 8, I was on my own. I had no teacher, no idols, not even a record player. But the occasional guitar players I saw on TV made one thing very clear to me: there were several ways to play with your right hand, but what I wanted to do was that thing-with-all-your-fingers! Those Spanish guitar players, who moved their fingers so fast that you could only see a fuzzy blur impressed the heck out of me!
Today, many years later, I still have not had a teacher, but I can do that-thing-with-all-my fingers now. I also know it has a name: Fingerstyle Guitar. And it still is my favorite way to play: rather than make a choice between bass-, rhythm-, or lead guitar, you just do it all, without any tricks, without overdubs, and without computers (so often used in today’s popular music). Yes, playing fingerstyle is hard work, and no, learning it is not easy. But the good thing is, that once you master this craft, you can play everything, be it Mozart, bluegrass, jazz, hardrock or whatever, all by yourself.
Guitar Magic is my second album with Solid Air Records. If you don’t know what Fingerstyle Guitar is, you may want to have a listen. It will surprise you! And if you already know what it is, well, in that case I think you should definitely have a listen!
Eltjo Haselhoff, "Guitar Magic," Solid Air Records, 2008
Eltjo Hasselhoff opens his 14-track collection,
"Guitar Magic," with a delightfully nasty blues riff
before launching into a slithery romp he calls "White
Lighting." The fingerstylist and composer displays his
ease with a variety of musical genres on his second CD
for Solid Air. Following the breathless dazzle of the
first song on this instrumental solo CD is a tune
which unfolds like a tree, then an orchard, of
magnolia blossoms, "Promised Land." With hints of
Aaron Copland, it evokes the spirit and mixed heritage
of the early 20th-century immigrants who ventured with
hope and trepidation into America. Beautiful, melodic,
melancholy, hopeful -- he nails this one. Haselhoff's
liner notes lend a bit of insight into his work and
thought processes, along with his choice of guitar,
strings and tunings. Eleven of the compositions are
his own, including an homage of sorts to James Taylor,
"Song for JT," and a nod to Chet Atkins, with the
bouncy "Lenentine." He also includes two tracks by
Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). He goes a bit over the
top with a slightly nutty take of "Turkey in the
Straw," in which he throws in some fiddle and a
jaunty, thumping bass. Be prepared to enjoy impeccable
technique, a wonderful sense of melody, a warm tone
and a sense of translating the ethereal as well as the
real into music. Haselhoff knows his craft, and can
discuss it with great clarity -- as evidenced by the
lessons, guidance and commentary (and humor!) on his
website. He counts Paul Simon, James Taylor and Tommy
Emmanel among his influences and idols. Interestingly
enough, guitar isn't even Hasselhoff's day job. He
holds a Ph.D in physics and continues to publish in
his field. He professes never to have had a guitar
teacher, being self-taught beginning at age 8. However
that combination of events and experiences boiled
down, the product of "Guitar Magic" shows it to be