“All my years of exploration of instrumental guitar and Americana have led me to this new CD, my first recording of new original compositions in nine years.”
Chris Proctor’s stunning new release, Ladybug Stomp, is a blockbuster- a compositional and aural treat for all fans of the acoustic guitar. Chris has advanced the arts of fingerstyle guitar technique, arranging and composition with each of his recordings. His 2003 summary of his first 25 years of compositions, The Chris Proctor Collection, and his genre-bending 2000 recording of arrangements from across the musical landscape Under the Influence, set new standards for solo fingerstyle recordings, and became the recorded bookends of his career for thousands of enthusiasts and fans.
Ladybug Stomp continues Chris’s lifetime exploration of the technical, emotional, and compositional possibilities of the acoustic guitar, and brings Chris and his listeners back to his creative foundation- writing, performing and recording new music for solo six and twelve-string guitars.
Chris has always been known for his remarkable body of original works for six- and twelve-string guitar with their trademark counterpoint and inner voices, his technical wizardry and his pioneering use of the E-bow and guitar mutes. A new set of original songs which reflect his last 9 years of compositional and musical growth makes for especially satisfying listening, for the neophyte and established fan alike.
Recorded with state-of-the-art analog and digital gear, and using the revolutionary new HDCD mastering process, Ladybug Stomp traverses a broad swath of the landscape of Americana, with Chris’ altered tunings and original techniques taking flight on six different Taylor guitars. A few high points of the new project:
- “CPSM” the CD’s amazing opening song, begins with a high-speed two-octave descending arpeggio and never lets up.
- “Dream and Variations” puts Proctor’s Ebow wizardry to work in service of a beautiful ballad, to unusual and plainly emotional effect.
- “Red Zinger” once again uses Proctor’s unique foam muting device and his pioneering right-thumb-plays-melody approach to the 12 string to create a rollicking tour-de-force.
- “Ozymandias” based on the Shelley poem which seems so timely today. is a winding and poignant journey.
- “Make it Snappy” makes guitarists’ hands sweat.
- “Ladybug Stomp” conjures up a New Orleans piano joint.
- “Hard Times,” which ends the CD, treats the listener to Artie Traum’s second guitar part, and sends the listener off in a mood of appreciation for the artistry and effort that went into the making of Chris’s finest recording to date.
As usual, Proctor ventures effortlessly from one tuning to the next and from his signature use of the Ebow to one-of-a-kind right and left-hand techiques. He creates a wondrous spectrum of compostitional moods. exhibits guitar chops which range from burnished 6-string counterpoint to powerhouse 12-string pyrotechnics, and presents it all in a beautiful and ultra high-fidelity package. “Ladybug Stomp” demonstrates once again why Chris Proctor is regarded as one of the best acoustic guitarist/composers recording and performing today.