On The Mesa is the creative output of Canadian guitarist and composer Rob Bartlett. The CD is an acoustic tour-de-force, featuring instruments such as acoustic guitar, diggery doo, mountain dulcimer, harmonica, steel guitar, bagpipes, cello, drums, wood flute, congas, shakers and more. A few electric instruments sneak into the mixes as well (bass, guitar and synthesizers), but the focus is on the acoustic, and the cinematic nature of the compositions is guaranteed to take the listener to another place. It's especially fine to listen to the music through headphones; Bartlett mixed the album 'wide' in order to offer a spatial experience. Bartlett's guitar doesn't dominate the music, however it is evident his playing is marked by an absense of cliches, and the instrument is beautifully recorded.
Rob describes the music comprising On The Mesa, I've had this recording in my head for a long time. It took forever, but it's finally complete. Best case, it sounds like a soundtrack to a badlands documentary. Worst case, a Spaghetti Western. I'd hate to call it psychedelic country, it's more like a strange mix of ancient and modern instruments from the Diggery Doo to the Fender Stratocaster. Sort of "new age with an edge." A musical journey for the armchair traveller."
Bartlett is well on his way to establishing a unique and interesting sound all his own. His creativity and desire to push acoustic instruments into new areas compliments the listenability of the compositions and should lead to more powerful works.
#1-D-624 Beaver Dam Rd.
Calgary, Alberta, T2K 4W6