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W.G. Snuffy Walden: Music By W.G. Snuffy Walden

If you’re a fan of such classy television fare as I’ll Fly Away, My So-Called Life and The West Wing, you may not realize it, but W.G. Snuffy Walden is probably one of your favorite composers. But even those unfamiliar with the prolific guitarist’s high-profile projects will appreciate the elegance and glowing warmth of the compositions populating Music by W.G. Snuffy Walden. The album eschews an obvious temptation to be a greatest hits compilation in favor of deeper explorations. Walden has an uncommon ability to evoke character and emotion through sometimes deceptively simple melodic motives. The delicate “Felicity’s Theme,” for example, surrounds its reflective melody line with gentle harmonics for a poignant effect. The album includes expanded or full versions of many of Walden’s themes, which reveal additional colors and details. “Once and Again” is a perfect example-capturing a snapshot of the bittersweet trials and joys of family life so eloquently portrayed on the Sela Ward drama-moving from slow guitar musings to upbeat, blues-threaded pushes, and layering vocal harmonies that haunt and soar. Whether tone-painting through the windswept “Turtle Bay” or playing bluesy slide on the earthy “Eugene’s Ragtop,” Walden also shows his chops as a versatile guitarist. But from the meditative, low-growl guitar treatment of “Thirtysomething (Revisited)” to the sweeping hope of the full “West Wing Suite,” it’s clear that for Walden, emotion is the key.

Originally Published