Using his own talents as a phenomenal guitar player, Guy Buttery presents a live album that delves deep into the art of instrumental music. Guy Buttery’s style features acoustic guitar playing that sails and soars around varying emotions and depths, offering an incredibly rich and vibrant experience. The live experience of the album seems to add to the music itself, truly showing off Buttery’s sheer amount of talent. It is a brilliant experience, and one that those who enjoy more quiet and relaxing instrumental music, will enjoy.
‘Live In KawZulu’ is very much a typical live-album, in that there’s the somewhat typical inclusion of cheering crowds and occasional chatter from the performer. Sometimes, there’s a bit of a sense with live albums, that it is only really worth hearing if you’re actually there, and thus the notion of the live-album becomes a bit pointless. However, Guy Buttery seems to completely indulge in the strengths that the live-album offers. The album shows off in phenomenal style, the talent he has as a guitarist. Each note builds up and up to the point where it becomes confusing how the tracks are even being played. The live setting implies that there’s no effects or fixes being added on in post-production, and that each song is sounding as it would in any true setting. The nature of the music itself is what helps it work well with the live-album, in that it is music that is truly easy to appreciate being played live. There’s some wonderful dynamics with the types of tracks as well, with some being very upbeat and almost manic to some point, whilst others are much more gentle and tug at emotions.
There’s so much to enjoy on ‘Live In KawZulu’, but the album struggles at times with Buttery’s incredibly energetic style. Each song truly demonstrates the enormous capabilities of Buttery, but a few seem to just drag on, and what first sounds impressive when heard, soon becomes a little bit boring and gimmicky when it is repeated over and over. It is undeniable, that it is impressive, what is being played, but it sometimes feels like there’s only so much on can take, and after a while, it would be nice to hear something different. To an extent, it mostly comes down to preference, and there’s many people who might find a lot to enjoy from these moments, due to their technical nature.
‘Live In KawZulu’ is a wonderful artistic and creative album. It echoes the style of guitarist Andy McKee in many ways, though only in terms of the nature of the music itself. The creativity and talent is all Guy Buttery’s, and it is a talent he can clearly be proud of. The wonderful emotive elements of the live album come through the instrumental music itself, making it a wonderful experience. What is interesting is how at some points, ‘Live In KwaZulu’ doesn’t seem like a live album, and instead sounds like a wonderful studio album. Luckily, there is the righteous cheering of the crowd to remind us of how much we can enjoy the live music.
- ★★★★☆ 4/5
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Guy Buttery’s latest live album ‘Live In KwaZulu’ is out now, and can be streamed, and purchased on digital or physical copy at: http://guybuttery.bandcamp.com/