So, this comes in pretty recent on the ol’ reissue calendar. The record was issued as a small run cassette in 2015 on Scissor Tail and didn’t snag enough attention at the time. The label is now giving the record a more expansive issue as an LP three years later. Perhaps this comes on the tail of Louise’s duo House and Land receiving a bit more acclaim with their record on Thrill Jockey, perhaps not. In either case we’re all luckier to have this one in a more solid format. Sarah Louise is a consummate purveyor of fingerpicked guitar. As might befit her inclusion in VDSQ’s acoustic series and, well, her surfacing on Scissor Tail in general.
Field Guide diverges from House and Land’s somber, wooded folk for more of a traditional take on the 12-string approach. Louise more than proves her chops here, tackling runs that bring to mind Basho, Jansch, Kotke and even a bit of Peter Walker. She’s not all flash and technique though, there’s plenty of beauty sparkling melody present in her rambles. The record, as the cover might suggest, brings to mind natural wonders, evoking streams and the endless spread of rolling hills. It’s a great intro to a contemporary string slinger that, if she’s not already, should be on your list to keep tabs on. Scissor Tail was right to give this one another go ‘round and a wider audience.
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