Imagine walking into a venue… The stage isn’t visible yet. In the distance, you hear what sounds like at least two classical guitarists playing off each other’s melodies. Once the stage is in view, you might be a bit surprised to see this singular, immense figure with his acoustic guitar generating this rich, enchanting tapestry of tunes. This is not a trick. It certainly isn’t an illusion. It’s Michael Trudgen – a one man band and maestro speaking through his music. His upcoming album, All The Pretty Things, will only serve these notions further.
At first glance, you might assume he could easily turn a guitar to splinters just by holding it – don’t be fooled. What you get from witnessing Michael Trudgen perform is totally remarkable. He is both delicate and wildly technical with his fingerstyle approach, often playing two rhythms at once. From quick finger tapping to silky smooth strums, Michael takes full advantage of his fretboard to compose sweeping, whimsical pieces. He brings his sound full-circle with a soft, rhythmic smack on the body of his guitar. Teeming with atmosphere and narrative, Michael’s instrumentals can easily be described as Norman Rockwell paintings for the ears. Each one of his strums represents an expressive, colourful stroke which constructs a pleasant, timeless story in both feel and tone.
“Be dynamic and dare to be different.” – Michael Trudgen
All The Pretty Things
2017 saw the release of his eponymous 12-track debut album. It’s a charming collection and a labour of love, showcasing Michael’s skill and chemistry between himself and his guitar. In essence, it’s a great first entry, setting the precedent for his new album, All The Pretty Things, available December 8th.
All The Pretty Things is a refined gem, boasting increased production along with a few other surprises. Where his debut was entirely acoustic, Michael demonstrates his range on this album, extending his ability to the electric guitar, mandolin and banjo. What’s more, it also features Richard Gracious, Kyle Ashbourne and Adam McNeil on keys, drums and bass respectively. In a special collaboration, The Pairs contribute their wonderfully angelic harmonies, which happens to be the only singing present on the album.
“New Beginnings” conveys the feeling of relaxing peacefully beneath the shade of an oak tree on a warm summer’s day. Michael’s banjo on “Summer Nights” give it a bluegrass vibe that, when carried by drums, feels like a countryside cruise in a vintage pickup truck with the windows down. Hit the snooze button – “Lazy Sunday” invokes the sensation of a worry-free Sunday morning, nestled in a warm duvet with no urgency to get up. Being instrumental, they give you the freedom to imagine.
All The Pretty Things is an ambitious step forward in all the right ways, without sounding grandiose. Michael Trudgen is in his element the whole time, expanding on what made his first release such a memorable listen. The album is carried out in his trademark style with the new elements of All The Pretty Things, at times, branching into a blend of cajun, blues and country rock. All in all, it’s a delightful listen that will warm your heart like a cup of hot chocolate by the family fire. Incidentally, it also makes for a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer!
His performances are a sight to behold. So, come down to Fireside Grill, Saturday, December 8, grab a copy of his new album and get swept away!
7:00PM – 12:00AM | Ages 19+