Elegant instrumental cinematic guitar for when you need space to breathe.
Building from his 2020 album ‘The Humors’, Ryan Dugré pulls the acoustic guitar into large focus with his straightforward no nonsense way to record and layer a track. ‘Three Rivers’ is a postcard journey of different thoughts and feelings that an acoustic – and sometimes electric – guitar can make you feel.
What stood out to me upon first listen is how nostalgic Ryan Dugré’s playing is. With just a few electric keyboard embellishments and the very occasional drum, shaker or violin, we have an all American trail of folk ditties. Pieces like ‘Powder Rains’ and ‘Foxglove’ absolutely shine in their simple delivery. Often a guitar player loves to wow you with their skill but Ryan is very restrained. Instead, this like showing you faded photos of memories past.
This means that ‘Three Rivers’ has an understated cinematic quality to it. The rhythms and melodies are strong throughout as they gently meander along their paths. ‘Stalking Horse’ embodies a twilight skulk back home – both tentative and dainty. There is also a Parisian vibe from some of the tracks like ‘Old Hotel’ and ‘Other Minds’ where cute lounge jazz nods are given. Elsewhere Ryan Dugré enjoys more psychedelic bents by infusing deep Western guitar twangs with ‘Wing’. Where Ryan does best though is when he allows the music to breathe. ‘Lumima’ is such a short piece but it encapsulates everything that he does so well. It builds a melody, toys with it, lets it rise and then fall to slumber. Closer ‘Glace Bay’ is another example too.
It may be a difficult sell to say ‘here’s an elegant trail folk album for you to enjoy’. Often it feels like the world of music is desperate to avoid the simple pleasures of a well structured acoustic guitar melody. Ryan Dugré absolutely nails that sunset, exhale mood perfectly. If you are in need of a calm and relaxed collection of folksy music – take a peek immediately. ‘Three Rivers’ is a simple creature that gives generously.
Recommended track: Foxglove
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