What a great player. I thought I was safe. Love his style. Cayendo was immense but this [Cityjam] tops it.
CityJam is simply brilliant
Pat Coldrick, from Ireland, is not just another one of a long string of guitarists, who just releases a CD to show their skill as a trained guitarist...He is much more! Pat Coldrick, has a long and interesting life behind him, and has walked a much more twisted road to get to where he is today. Pat Coldrick has been an active musician in Ireland for many years, not only exclusively as a classic guitarist, but also as a rhythmic rock guitarist. For personal reasons, Pat took a break from his much loved classical guitar for a number of years, but a few years ago he finally got the guitar out again and recorded the critically appraised album Cayendo, where he got special praise for his composition Lament. It is no surprise, that the new cd isn’t just completely acoustic classical guitar. Because Pat likes to have his AER amplifier with him everywhere, he achieves the same sound on stage as on the cd (A sound that he himself likes, and which he regulates and decides over himself!) So, if you are used to listening to classical guitar, recorded with expensive German microphones with reverb where you hear every single string vibration, there is a chance you may be disappointed, because the City Jam cd is not such a concept. It is much more a symphony of sounds, that Pat Coldrick and the producer Peter Eades control like great wizards. At the same time, there is never any doubt about the great technical and musical capacity that Coldrick possesses. The title of the album is City Jam, and that is a very well chosen title because the CD has a certain jam to it. This is a positive thing, since quite a few of the 14 tracks have a jam along kind of vibe. The title track City Jam, is a festive track, and reminds me a lot of Chet Atkins’ Stay Tunes, Read My Licks and Almost Alone albums. It is an incredibly swingy and exciting track, that is just tailor-made for the target audience: guitarists that love classical guitar and fingerplay! Pat Coldrick’s beautiful guitar tone shines through every single track, and you feel musically seduced by his enchanting playing, on tracks like Antartica, which again, is a track he has composed himself. It is an incredibly beautiful track, and it is easy to imagine Pat playing a gigantic harp, because so many arpeggio notes come swimming towards you. This really makes you feel like you are on a mystical raft, sailing in a foggy landscape, with a beautiful Goddess steering the boat (In other words: you get lost in his music!) It doesn’t stop here though, because the rhythmical guitarist that hides inside Coldrick, also makes an appearance, with rhythmical strum chords, and a more percussive like approach towards the end of the track. Elena is a very beautiful track composed by Pat Coldrick himself. This track has everything, including a beautiful melody from start to finish, combined with other instrumentation and some effects. Everything works fine, without disturbing the sound as a whole. The CD is seducingly lovely and exciting to listen to, not only for people interested in classical guitar music, but for people who like music, period. With tracks such as Malaguena Opus (no.3) Pat shows an exceptional technical perfection, combined with an incredible musical understanding, and not least, a touchingly beautiful feel for the notes. The quality goes all the way to the top. I have purposely chosen to focus on Pats own composed tracks in this review. I did this, because on the Cayendo cd, as mentioned earlier, he chose to include his own number Lament, which is an incredibly beautiful and simple piece of guitar music. Many guitarists have since chosen to record this piece on Youtube, and Pat himself, has been given a lot of great feedback on social media. On the new CD we have already mentioned Elena and Antartica. Tranquillio is another track on the CD that didn’t quite capture me in the same way as the two previously mentioned, but even so, it is catchy and nice to listen to. If we have to compare, I do think that Elena and Antartica are much more unique, and on the same level as Lament. Tranquilo is not a typical guitar track, but more of a jam track in my eyes, but yet still lovely, and with a nice melody (So who knows, it might end up being this track that people will remember best from this CD!) Driftin’ is a track in the folk music / bluegrass style, with a melody that again draws attention with its simple build up. The Claw is incredibly well played, and the arrangement is both entertaining and festive to listen to and jam along to (Especially the beginning with the bongo drums and the rock guitar!) There is slightly too much bass drum or bass (hard to hear on the recording), but it is masterly played by Pat. It is incredibly good that he, as a classical guitarist, is capable of playing such a difficult fingerpicking track, as Jerry Reeds pearl. If you are familiar with Pat Coldrick’s earlier CD Cayendo, it will hardly come as a surprise that he has many great classical tracks on the new CD, such as Albeniz’ Sevilla, and believe me, Pat plays it to perfection. True classical guitar fans of Julian Bream, John Williams and Segovia would perhaps draw parallels, and here, Coldrick’s recording might seem to lack something (when you think of Breams natural reverb in his recording recorded in Sevilla) but personally, I take my hat off to a musician that dares taking the classical guitar into the new century and stands by the fact that he uses an acoustic guitar amplifier. He could have easily recorded the CD with just microphones, but where would Pat Coldrick’s own sound be at then? Pat has told me that his sound is a combination of both the guitar’s and the amplifier’s sound, and when he chooses to use his AE amplifier, he shows that he is loyal to his fans. Often as an audience, you get disappointed when your hear a completely different guitar sound on stage than on the CD, but not in Pats case...Well done Pat! In conclusion, with City Jam, Pat Coldrick shows with capital letters that he has come to stay, and that he is a musician that modern classical music needs to take seriously. This CD strikes gold, not only because of the masterly executed recordings, but also, which is much more important in my opinion, because he proves that he is capable of lifting the standard from the Cayendo CDs compositions, especially with Elena, City Jam and Antartica. The CD is firmly in the top end when it comes to stars or ratings, and I give it 6 stars! The reason I do that is because this CD carries such a big message, and for that reason it is a huge source of inspiration for guitarists out there. I bet that it will tempt many to get their guitar out and jam along, and even better, get a guitar out for the first time ever and get to know the divine instrument! As a bonus there is a City Jam Bonus DVD in the package with Pats own tracks. The CD and DVD come in a beautiful red box with a beautiful mini book in a pocket, where Pat tells us about his new project, with pictures and text.