There are few guitarists that are more talented and lesser known than Eric Peterson. Suffice to say that his latest album is a contemporary acoustic-guitar delight, with plenty of strumming, melodic lines and classical influences. If you already know him then you no doubt will appreciate this release. Peterson is in his element with guitar instrumental compositions. Simultaneously angular and inviting, knotty and amiable, as well as melodic, the tunes completely sidestep the preciousness inherent in the work of so many of his so called peers.
Instead, Eric Peterson’s combination of folk, pop, jazz, rock, and world music song structures, and progressive feel on “Rooted” seems as individual as it is unpretentious. Peterson’s playing is alternately rhythmic and challenging but mostly lyrical.
This is an album that rewards careful listening. It’s not mellow background music. Peterson’s virtuosity demands to be noticed. Notes cascade like waterfalls, without relenting, in spirited and uplifting compositions. So put the book down, get comfortable in your chair and just listen.
And you’ll be happy that you listened, because what comes off this recording sounds superb. From the melodic opening “Will”, to the twisting “Trance-Like” and “Soaring”, onto the almost fusion sounds of “Creep” and “Walking in a Rainstorm”, and the tropical rhythms of “Coastal Venture”, your ears will be filled with meaningful sounds and energetic rhythms.
Honestly speaking, Eric Peterson’s is tough to categorize. He is best described simply as a supreme guitarist who moves from flavor to flavor, always bringing a sense of melody and accessibility to anything he composes and performs.
And on this “Rooted” album, he brings those same sensibilities, continuing to mine somewhat familiar territory in his unique, understated fashion. The recording is clearly a labor of love for Peterson, and on it he provides fans with a comfortable, melodic collection, smartly produced and beautifully performed.
Here’s the gist of this Eric Peterson recording effort: he proves that he’s an interesting songwriter and a great guitar player, and his album flows from song to song without melting into a pile of generic acoustic-guitar laced melodramatics usually found in this genre.
All of the tunes remain interesting thanks to the fact that the guitar playing is inspiring while the rhythm section, consisting of both bass and drums, is solid throughout and creates an interesting momentum for each song to build upon.
MORE ABOUT: Eric Peterson began playing the guitar at age 7, but not seriously until age 15 when he received his first electric guitar. Hooked on the dominant guitar bands of the 80’s at the time, Eric influences now include Steve Lukather, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, John Petrucci, Eric Johnson, Neal Schon, Michael Hedges, and Christoper Parkening. Eric who has been in various bands over the years, and also teaches the instrument, currently prefers working and collaborating as a solo artist and studio musician. Eric has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in IT Security and works by day as an IT Security Engineer and certified ethical hacker.