Rick Fielding Acoustic Workshop

It is truly fitting that Rick Fielding has left us something to remember him by. As an artist and a human being, his ability to touch so many of us in such a deeply memorable way would dictate nothing less. Rick is surely smiling at this rich retrospective of the sounds he loved: from the passionate delivery of Leadbelly; the political power of Peter Seeger; the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt and a potpourri of disparate influences which are all represented here. "Off To School No More” delivers the twinkle in his eye through the traditional style of Ewan MacColl and Stan Rogers. One of the disc’s best cuts is "Last Freight Train,” echoing Woody Guthrie as it paints as distinctive a portrait of Canadian folk as there is, tastefully embellished by fiddle and rich harmonies. "Step it Up and Go” is a vibrant demonstration of Rick’s fretwork and vocal skills. Yet it is the three instrumentals that shine brightest — notably "Hesitation Rag” — providing us with a memorable reminder of how special a talent we’ve lost. (Borealis)