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Anti Dattani is a fantastic picker (Charlie Parr), and more besides. Formerly of the acclaimed duo, Mellow Peaches Dattani expertise on acoustic guitar, banjo and lap slide guitar shows he is the business. Santiago is his debut solo recording, and one where it is only himself on guitar and vocals as he weaves, deceptively through the ten tracks.
Other than traditional tunes “Swing And Turn” and gospel favourite “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” the material is all homespun, his deft touch and warm, gentle coercing vocals take the listener on one enjoyable journey after another. This as according to the accompanying notes, he speaks of finding peace within the creative process, and of being both inspired, and intimidated by his heroes as on title-track “Santiago”. It sees him kick off the album nicely, and there is better to come as in “Boats And Trains” (as he makes reference to Audrey Hepburn), and on utilising a wistful feel “Home” has him deliver an intimate song. One though simple it isn't lacking in beauty, intrigue and grace.
Talking about grace, his superb instrumental (lap slide) “Acanthus” though brief it transports the listener to another place (such the sensitive, top class playing).
Of the imports, the beautiful playing tendered on “Swing And Turn”, and assured vocals edge the better known “Will The Circle Be Unbroken”; albeit there isn’t a great deal to choose between them as he breezes through the timeless standard.
From his own material, another instrumental “Izzy” trots along at a delightful pace and with the likes of “Hummingbird” and the wonderful “Charcoal” there is no lack of highlights. Especially regards his picking as one beautiful melody after another emerges.
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