Close and Personal Friends

  • Acoustic Guitar magazine has chosen Close and Personal Friends as one of its “Essential Acoustic Albums of 2012.” Read the article here.
  • Read the first review of Close and Personal Friends.

Chris Proctor’s new CD, Close and Personal Friends, takes us back to his roots, and unfolds a tapestry of medleys woven from the musical threads of his early years, knit together with tasty, original introductions and bridges.

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For What It’s Worth, Stephen Stills’ anthem to the 60’s protest movement, glides seamlessly into Spooky, the 60’s pop/soul nugget from the Classics IV, which then evolves effortlessly into Marvin Gaye’s Heard it through the Grapevine. One surprising and delightful mashup marries the Beatles, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Paul Simon, and another pays homage to an obscure 70’s Brit guitar hero. There’s classic rock and pop, soul, folk, British Isles and music from 50’s musicals. You’ll hear Caribbean pop hits, Scottish jigs, a classic from Oklahoma, another from the Pat Boone/Debby Reynolds movie, Tammy and the Bachelor, and two intriguing compositions from much-admired but little-known Brit guitarist Dave Evans.

Always on display is Chris’s taste in selecting memorable melodies, his compositional and arranging skills, and his crystalline guitar technique.

Some highlights of Close and Personal Friends

  • The opening harmonics and bass line of the Stephen Stills classic, For What It’s Worth, which conjure up the stirring original;
  • The eBow intro to the Scottish jigs, which evokes bagpipes swirling about the misty highlands;
  • The melodic twists and turns, and tasty new bridges in Chris’s 5-song Beatles/Donovan confection;
  • The rock mashup that concludes with a stunning solo guitar version of You Can Call Me Al, Paul Simon’s rave-up hit from Graceland, including the original’s 3-part harmony horns and echoes;
  • he lilting partnership of Corrina, Corrina and People Get Ready with its beautiful 12-string harmonic fade out.

Warm musicality, great taste, stellar technique, quirky humor, complex arranging and consummate composing chops all shine through this recording. As the title indicates, the guitar sound is also close and personal- just a single guitar and top-drawer microphones and preamps in an intimate, pristine digital environment.

Of course, the CD has treats for guitar aficionados- Chris’s colorful palette of 6- and 12-string Taylor guitars, unorthodox techniques, alternate tunings, partial capos, unique eBow use, and slinky slide work will all beguile the guitar players out there.

Close and Personal Friends is Chris’s tenth solo project since his touring career began with his National Fingerstyle Championship win 3 decades ago. It completes a circle of sorts, taking his longtime focus on composing new music for guitar, and using it to build a sound sculpture of homage to the sources of that originality. It’s a lighter, more accessible work as a result, and a listening treat for both existing fans and those who have never heard his music before.