Three years after releasing his debut solo album, Places, Mark Vickness is back with Interconnected, an instrumental album that best can be described as acoustic fusion. Four of the album's eight tracks are in a modern, finger picked style, while the other four feature Vickness' talented group, which includes two-time Grammy Award winning Mads Tolling on violin, Joseph Hebert on cello, Dan Feiszli on both upright and electric bass and Ty Burhoe on tabla. Heavy with rhythmic elements, the music blends elements of folk, jazz, classical, and world music, making for a unique sound that is at once familiar and new.
The album leads off with "Interwoven," a dark, yet melodic track with an air of sadness. Hebert and Tolling compete on cello and violin respectively over an intricate, finger picked acoustic guitar part before the song abruptly shifts to a more uplifting rhythm. This hybrid of folk and classical with some eastern elements features a hypnotic tabla solo. "Grey Skye" follows with its ringing harmonics and crisp acoustic picking. Vickness often plays two parts at once in this very rhythmic track.
Country and pop meet world music on the bouncy "Hot Apple Stuff." The classical instruments work in harmony with Vickness' guitar over a driving tabla rhythm. A live version of this track is also included and the exciting rhythms are further emphasized by Vickness' crack band.
The warm and inviting "For Every Child" is a personal song for Vickness and dedicated to anyone who has gone through or knows someone who has gone through childhood sexual abuse. Like a lullaby, the song is gentle and comforting. Heavy bass and a droning intro feature on "6 in 7," a song with Middle Eastern-flavored violin courtesy of Tolling and strong playing from Vickness. This standout track builds in intensity throughout.
Interconnected finishes with "One Day Over A Thousand," a song Vickness dedicated to those who lost their lives due to Covid-19 and to a friend of his who passed away during the recording. The song showcases some intricate guitar work from Vickness.
On Interconnected, Vickness has pushed the limits of acoustic fusion, blending many, seemingly unrelated, styles together to create something new and exciting. The song craft and musicianship is top notch and the album is one that reveals more to the listener with each spin. Well worth a listen.