Dave McGuirk; "Thoughts Drift Back To You"
It took a bit for this album to warm up to me, but I'm glad I was able to be patient with it. It's worth the extra listening to find the meaning in the music that Dave has recorded on this album.
Dave McGuirk is a versatile pianist, and has performed as a soloist, accompanist, church musician and keyboardist for various bands over the last 35 years. He also has a very successful piano studio. "Thoughts Drift Back To You" is his debut solo piano album.
On The whole, the album has a feel that is very distant. The songs feel as thought they're being played in a far off land, in another time, certainly not "here with you" as you listen. There is a very clear romantic period influence in the structure of many of the songs, which would explain some of the musical distance that one experiences while listening. When combined with the contemporary progressions that also run throughout this work we get something that sounds quite neo-classical, with an old world rustic flare.
Songs like "Brigets' Dance," "The First Embrace" and "Thoughts Drift Back To You" contain an almost seafaring theme that runs throughout the pieces, bringing to mind adventures and romances from times past. Uplifting and exciting, these pieces build tension and bring it back down again, offering an ebb and flow that keeps you enchanted, and on the edge of your seat.
"While I Wait," "A Rose For Eva" and " I just Saw Your Picture" are much more reflective, in a melancholy sort of way. These are pieces that have you look back into the past and ask questions, while "A Smile Remembered," with it's modern chord progressions, has you looking forward as to what is yet to come.
"With Tiny Steps" is an old world style waltz, which reminds me in some ways of the Chopin waltzes, with a contemporary approach. "Rue Sainte Cathrine" is a blend of the fore mentioned styles, beginning in a contemplative and thoughtful way, continuing throughout the piece and offering morsels of warmth here and there, then climaxing with this sort of a "seafaring" feel that Dave seems to be a master at creating. I'd have to say that this is my favorite track on the album.
As I mentioned, this album took a bit of getting used to, but ultimately it's worth it. It's an album that you'll want to "explore" as opposed to simply listen to, and sometimes exploring means we have to look in the nooks and crannies, upside down and underneath, to find all of the gems. And the gems in this album are definitely worth finding.
To purchase this album or for more information on Dave McGuirk, visit his website at www.davemcGuirk.com