Each year that passes there are still corners of the musical consciousness to dig and redeliver to a waiting audience. The reissue label field is getting dense, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some genuine gems finding their way back out of the past. Daniel Hecht’s 1973 debut Guitar is just such a treasure that’s somehow evaded reissue until the tail end of last year. Hecht has the benefit of bridging the academic and field approach to the instrument. While he was classically trained in theory and composition, studying at the North Shore Conservatory in Illinois, he didn’t really begin his musical career until living on a commune years later, studying the works of Mississippi John Hurt and sitting in on conversations with Moondog, who would encourage him to record his guitar works.
He’d go on to record a few other records, with a couple winding up self-released on his own Dragon’s Egg imprint before finding camaraderie with John Fahey and releasing his final record on Windham Hill in 1980. Though his undisputed masterpiece remains this debut, a raw outpouring of country-folk, with a slightly complex edge simmering underneath its skin. The record has remained out of print, though not inescapable to collectors, since shortly after its release and now Telephone Explosion imprint Morning Trip are re-releasing it back rightfully into the racks alongside a new surge of acoustic pickers. For years I’ve heard Hecht’s name tossed among influences of players that strayed from the more usual fare and figurehead fingerpickers, but its nice to see this shared with a few new generations who might come to it with little knowledge other than its a beautiful piece that’s finally getting a proper due.
Support the artist. Buy it HERE.