Now for some truly beautiful, yet challenging music. Emanations features the musical alchemy of Canadian Lyall Steel, who takes a foundation in classical, flamenco and folk music disciplines and composes a musical hybrid for classical guitar. Even though this is Steel's second album, it has been a long twenty years (yes, twenty) since his first recording. He opens the CD, appropriately enough, with a twenty-year-old piece, "Spanish Breeze", then follows with newer compositions which display technical mastery, sensitivity and a passion for the emotional side of guitar playing. Emanations features nine originals in all, and anyone alive who loves acoustic guitar music needs to hear Steel's work - it's quite engaging and can be listened to in a variety of settings. There's enough depth to challenge a serious listener, and enough melody to brighten up the atmosphere when you're doing something else. Tough to pull off, but Steel succeeds.
Lyall started playing guitar in his early teens in the '60s, playing tunes from the Ventures, Fireballs, Shadows, Duane Eddy and others. His next advancement was Travis picking, and later he became attracted to flamenco and classical guitar for their very serious use of the right hand fingers. Lyall then traveled to Spain, began composing (with the ardent support of Maestro Manuel Cano) and returned to record and self-release an LP which sold a couple thousand copies. Even though he allowed 20 years to pass before recording again, he always continued to play guitar and compose music.
Steel feels more recognition for his work and financial success would be nice, but that it is fundamentally about something greater -- finding his own voice through his own material. We agree.
Web site: www.indiepool.com/lyallsteel/