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Monday 20 May 2024

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Unsung – John Villiers

Feb 4, 2021

John Villiers is the alter ego of reggae and blues guitarist Andy Parker, well known for the kind of laid back instrumentals you put on to accompany that drink when you get home late. This is something very different.

Lock down saw John use a small collection of vintage and newer acoustic guitars at his studio with a single amplifier line out enabling the use of effects in parallel  and a single microphone to record the acoustic sound. This gives a CD of high quality and sonic balance which lets you concentrate on his fine playing.

There’s a lot of variety on show. The opening track, ‘If You Think The Same As Everyone Else’, is a modal odyssey that draws on eastern influences. ‘Jolly Roger Blues’ is echo-laden  where the effects, not as intrusive as can sometimes be the case, provide an implied rhythm to the tune. There are other compositions reminiscent of Adrian Legg or Gordon Giltrap. High Praise indeed. If pressed for favourites I would choose two tunes, ‘Frantic’ and the very traditional sounding ‘Lady Ursula Requests’. Both of these are played on an old Gibson MK35 with a pure vintage sound.

If you’re a guitar player or a guitar lover (full disclosure – I am shamelessly both) you will find a lot to please you. Plenty to joyfully lose yourself in, quality whatever style of guitar music you favour.

Philip Thomas

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