From: WA, United States
Genre: Folk, Solo Acoustic Guitar, New Age
Acoustic Journal has truly been a musical journey, a special voyage of the heart to places and experiences that have left an indelible impression on the artists soul. Every composition is intended to carry the listener across time, across mountains and oceans through a wide array of emotions. Each original piece represents a memory and is intended to capture an impression of a special moment in time.
This project is purely Doug doing what he loves best. It is comprised soley of his original melodies and arrangements while playing his beloved Martin and as such this album gives the listener an intimate glimpse into the very heart of the writer and guitar-stylist. He considers music to be one of life's greatest Blessings and each song he has written to be a gift. Growing up surrounded by the coastal mountains and waters of Puget Sound, his writing and even his playing style has invariably been influenced by the beauty of his surroundings. The texture, mood and flow of his compositions reflect his love of nature and gratitude for our Creator. Relax and enjoy the journey...
Doug's solo guitar compostition "Come The Rain", is featured on The Unofficial Martin Guitar Forum's 2004 Anthology CD.
ABOUT THIS ALBUM
JRT Records (2004)
Acoustic Journal is a melodic tapestry of fourteen solo (and one duet) acoustic guitar instrumentals, all of them accessible and easy to enjoy from the first playing. Moods and tempos vary but not in any way so as to present jarring juxtapositions between songs. If I was asked to compare Doug Hamer to other acoustic guitarists, I’d classify him as a blend of Clarelynn Rose and Ken Bonfield. He can kick up his proverbial heels on a song like “Java” which sways and rocks, albeit in a gentle fashion, or let subtle influences color his songs, such as on “Island Memories” (which draws from the Hawaiian slack key school) or the appropriately titled “Celtic Garden.” At other times, he takes a more impressionistic approach, playing in a sparser vein, e.g. “Fern Grotto,” which displays his control of nuance and shading, as well as demonstrating some well-executed studio engineering techniques (echo effect) which can go a long way toward giving the music some depth and extra feeling. Later in this track, the pace picks up even while the mood remains draped in mystery, as Hamer’s finger fly every which way on the fret board and across the strings, picking fingerstyle in a dazzling display of control.
The strengths of Acoustic Journal are its relative simplicity (this is, after all, just a solo acoustic guitar CD, with no keyboards or other accompaniment, with the exception of the presence of a second guitarist on the song “Next to Me,” a gentle romantic ballad, on which Hamer is joined by Dean Nissen) and it’s wider than usual variety of music, embracing an assortment of moods and tempos. That Hamer manages to vary the music as much as he does while still keeping the overall “feel” of the CD on the quiet side (perhaps achieved through attention to detail in the recording process, e.g. mic placement, mixing, and engineering) makes the recording an ideal soundtrack to Saturday afternoon chores, especially outdoors, or maybe as the musical backdrop to a distant thunderstorm.
From the self-described (in the copious liner notes) “haunting chordal structure and swaying tempo” of “Wind in the Windmill” to the slyly cheerful “Indigo Skies” to the uptempo blues of “No Strings” and the serene album closer, “Goodbye Shanghai,” Doug Hamer paints a multi-hued sonic landscape on his acoustic guitar, taking the listener through peaceful rural towns, winding through fog-shrouded valleys, and hiking to the tops of rolling hills. As I’ve always maintained, most acoustic instrumental music is especially well-suited for playing while enjoying our wonderful natural environment, whether it’s the peaceful north woods of the Midwest, the expansive vistas of the Rockies or Grand Tetons or the breathtaking ocean views from Highway 1 along the Pacific coastline. Doug Hamer’s Acoustic Journal is ideal music to listen to in any of these environs or you can enjoy it almost as much as an armchair traveler, too. Either way, I solidly recommend the album.
New Age Reporter
Doug Hamer, composer/guitarist has recorded his current release, Rainforest Suite, a beautiful acoustic impressionistic album for JRT Records. Rainforest Suite is currently being aired an radio stations in Europe and Japan as well as on diverse acoustic radio stations in the USA, (National Public Radio,etc)
Doug's composition "Woodlands" from Rainforest Suite is featured on ACOUSTIC RAINBOW, (a cd sampler for radio), a division of PoetMan Records USA.
Doug's tracks "Spirit Lake" and "Fragile, also taken from the CD, Rainforest Suite, were featured on the very popular European radio station, Alooga Lounge (JAZZ/ETHNO/ABSTRACT/AMBIENT) with "Spirit Lake" airing at number one on the playlist.
(6 & 12-String and Classical guitars, Piano, Fretless Bass, Vibes, Sitar, Tamboura, Flute, Synthesizer, Percussion)
Jeanette Housner, VICTORY REVIEW- Acoustic Music Review Magazine:
Well named, Rainforest Suite. You can feel and smell the dampness, see the green and hear the echo of the woods around you. The first track is called Silent Voices and it places you deep in the middle of a silent forest. In Spirit Lake, single strings being plucked give the sense of raindrops hitting large green leaves. This album is labeled new age and is predictably calming and peaceful. It would work well as background music; however, I found it extremely energizing and exciting when I just sat and listened closely. A uniquely moving work.
Bryan Klausing, Assoc. Producer-PoetMan Records USA:
A well crafted, beautiful piece of music. "Woodlands," I loved the flute floating over top the tender guitar arrangement.
Rainforest Suite came in at number 11 on Ireland's top 80 new age albums for 2005.