Bruce and Julie have assembled a lovely collection of soul-soothing and spirit lifting guitar songs. Their acoustic guitar duo is supplemented with wood flutes, a variety of percussion instruments and bass. This gives the songs a richer texture and depth.

Track 1: Autumn Breath is a great introduction with its gentle, laid-back beats and melody. Title track 4: Spirit Wheel feels like a sound track to a spaghetti Western – in a very good way. The listener can imagine riding across an open landscape on a horse. The haunting flute riffs in the background help the song rise to a higher level. Track 5: Lemuria is 7:04 minutes long. In general, the musicians take the time to develop and extend their melodic and harmonic material on this album, which is just over an hour long. More thinking and composing goes into longer tracks, so thumbs up for that! Track 7: Cloud Caravan picks up a relaxed Latino vibe with the insistent percussion. Track 9: Oriel shifts toward a folk-ballad sound. The developmental break in the middle of the tune is especially lovely.

The album ends with Track 10: Zephyr. At 8:08 minutes, it’s the album’s longest track. The introductory passage is wistful and romantic. New ideas are paced throughout this slow and thoughtful track.

While I’ve always enjoyed Terra Guitarra’s fiery and energetic albums, this kick-back and relax album is totally enchanting. The longer tracks feature a greater range of musical invention, and the additional instruments give a richer feeling to the listening experience. Thumbs up for this one!

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Terra Guitarra
10 tracks, 1:03 mins
CD $20.98, MP3 $9.49.