CD Review by Chuck Graham (Let The Show Begin)   Gypsy Nights" by Troy Gray   Like the alchemists of old, Tucson-based guitarist Troy Gray keeps experimenting with different combinations of sound, looking for the magic blend that will turn his music into gold, so to speak. Now Gray has recorded and released “Gypsy Nights,” a collection of 11 original pieces working with percussionist DannyBrito and a couple of bassists, Robert Thames and Manny Brito. This blend of acoustic guitar, bass and percussion is gypsy-ish, gently undulating to Latin beats that flow rather than rush to reach the end. It would be an ideal choice for commuters to play in rush hour traffic. A mellowed-out sound that soothes even as it bubbles along. The rhythm section stays light, giving Gray the room to play his lyrical lines of beautifully selected notes, passages that often float with a shimmering crystalline quality that can become rather mesmerizing. Even “Bailando En La Habana,” which promises a taste of that Cuban intensity, stays relaxed over a tempo that is a bit quicker. There is a sunny cheerfulness here with more than a touch of sand and sea, a splash of salt water and sea gulls riding breezes over the surf. “Song From My Heart” is not only slower but more pensive with notes and pauses that breath so naturally, listening begins to feel like eavesdropping. Phrases become thoughts so introspective they don't even need words. Mysteries of the night come to us in “Noches Espanolas,” the track most reminiscent of gypsy campfires and sultry dancers in bare feel, finding inspiration from the flames and the stars. In the liner notes Gray dedicates this album to the memory of his father, Alwood P. “Butch” Gray (1943-2009) and ends the music with “Mi Padre,” heartfelt in its own way, played so openly with elements of happiness and melancholy that the ending as it fades out is just perfect. You can always find “Gypsy Nights” at CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/troygray3 For additional details and info: www.troygrayguitar.com and www.reverbnation.com/troygray” - Chuck Graham

Let The Show Begin

CD review by Chuck Graham www.tucsonstage.comRUMBO NUEVO “Solo Dos” I finally caught up to Rumbo Nuevo the other night, sitting in the bar at Sullivan’s Restaurant, not knowing the musicians but quickly being captivated by the clarity of their playing – “their” being Troy Gray and Todd Mellor.  These two nylon string guitarists play with remarkable balance and an uncanny anticipation of each other’s moves. Now I have a copy of their latest CD, “Solo Dos,” an atmospheric collection of 12 original songs they describe as “Nuevo Flamenco and Spanish guitar.” Those aren’t two separate styles. Gray and Mellor blend them into their own musical sangria that could be described as proper Spanish guitar with an edge, or maybe the more muscular Nuevo Flamenco with a poet’s sensitivity. The effect is quite sensual. Each lyrical passage swirls around focused beats that maintain a center for their long passages of lyrical counterpoint. All the tracks have a similar tempo, so the different songs are identified by their specific melodies and the dynamics each contains. But always the dominant flavor is Spanish, undulating, patiently waiting, building suspense for just the right moment…which never fails to arrive. Hear them for yourself at www.cdbaby.com ” - Chuck Graham

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