Yair Yona - World Behind Curtains
With a lot of solo acoustic guitarists, you can pretty much predict what they will deliver, and almost all of it a slurry of Fahey, Kottke and Basho-Junghans. Yair Yona, while fully in the tradition of variations on American Primitive, is hard to pin down. That's what makes his new "World Behind Curtains" another triumph. Yona's style is both deep and whimsical; whereas other guitarists might offer songs that echo their predecessors, Yona builds off the past as he coaxes out his own haunting, memorable echoes.
Yona breaks from the mold by using his solo guitar-six and twelve string acoustic as well as a little electric work-as a foundation for exploration with other instruments and sounds. Right from the opening "Expatriates," Yona is in his own world, this song building from a gorgeous twelve string melody into a soaring, slightly disturbing ambient. The deft Flamenco the begins "It's Not the Heat (It's the Humidity)" serves as an entry into sweet piano/guitar/strings interplay. Brittle, evocative strings transform the insistent but reflective solo six string on "Mad About You" into an odd romantic lullaby. "Poetry Nights in Valhalla" explores several genres, most notably Arabic, for a piece that can only be called jaunty. For purists, there is plenty to love here as well, epitomized by "This One's For You, Glenn," a nod to fellow traveler Glenn Jones, and the beautiful closer, "Bella," which does employ other instrumentation near the end, but throughout is featured some of Yona's most poetic playing.
A triumph all around, "World Behind Curtains" shows the maturation of Yair Yona as both a guitar player and arranger. His ambition is growing alongside his already singular talent. This is a record that shows an artist on the verge of stunning breakthroughs.
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