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Justin Haynes: Show

In a world of stretched-out solos and 10-minute cuts, Canadian guitarist/pianist/banjoist Justin Haynes keeps his original selections as short as their one- and two-word titles on this whimsical and atmospheric album. There is a lushness on Haynes’ tropical “Show” on which his guitar suggests a pedal steel, that is until he breaks loose for a touch of funk. Trumpeter Kevin Turcotte plays a starring role throughout, continually adding new elements to the themes. Cowboy rhythms make an amusing setting for “Lope Some,” a gentle song on which Haynes’ thoughtful guitar rides on the comfort of Leah Wyber’s cello. In fact, there is a soothing element which envelopes the music here, but on occasion it becomes perhaps a bit too atmospheric. Haynes is at his best when he and Turcotte keep things either hard-hitting or light-hearted. The album ends with a peace and love message with the group singing, “We’ll be alright, we’ll be okay, we’ll be just fine.”

Originally Published