Scott Balsai | Reflections Of Maple and Mahogany

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Alex De Grassi Leo Kottke Will Ackerman

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United States - Idaho

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New Age: Solo Instrumental New Age: Solo Instrumental Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Reflections Of Maple and Mahogany

by Scott Balsai

This is solo acoustic guitar instrumental music reminiscent of players like Leo Kottke, Alex De Grassi and Will Ackerman. This CD is over an hour of soulful, relaxing movements mixed with intervals of energetic fingers dancing on wood and steel.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Remember When
5:17 $0.80
2. Agitated Intervals&Peaceful Resolution
4:15 $0.80
3. Sunday Visitors
3:13 $0.80
4. Visiting
5:16 album only
5. Movin'
3:13 $0.80
6. The Essay and Robert Frost
4:12 $0.80
7. Black Kitten of 44 Greenwich Street
4:07 $0.80
8. Childhood Memory
4:30 $0.80
9. Name that Tune
2:17 $0.80
10. New Born
5:00 $0.80
11. Prairie Braid
4:04 $0.80
12. Sunset Promenade
4:36 $0.80
13. Dream Dancing
5:15 $0.80
14. Avian Dawn
5:06 $0.80
15. Summer's Peace
3:38 $0.80
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Scott's CD is a delightful display of solo acoustic guitar prowess. At times, there are themes of William Ackerman while he maintains an overall style that is his own. Casual, mellow, intricate, emotive...the list could go on to describe this enjoyable CD. And with a song titled "Black Kitten at 44 Greenwich Street," you just have to take a listen."
~kjon99fm"New Ager", 2012

"Well, Scott's songs are astonishingly beautiful - one man and a guitar! Really, gives me chills and brings tears (of joy!) to my eyes. Thanks so much for enriching our music library with Scott's music."
~ Carmen Allgood, World Wide Waves syndicated radio shows, March 2012

"Reflections of Maple and Mahogany: A Musical Diary" is Scott’s first CD for CD Baby. It represents a collection of original instrumental fingerstyle acoustic guitar compositions inspired during a period of his life spanning more than 35 years. It includes many new pieces as well as new recordings of a few older pieces from his other two previous CD’s.
This CD will carry the listener from Balsai’s home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to his college days at Kutztown State College in the 1970’s, to his hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, to his moving across the country and his living, teaching, skiing, fishing, and hiking in Idaho.
Having been born and reared in Bethlehem from the ‘50’s through the ‘70’s, Balsai had the fortune of being located in an unusually rich musical milieu. Home of the “Godfrey Daniels” coffee house, Scott had the opportunity to cross paths, both on stage and off stage, with the likes of John Gorka and Steve Kimock, among others. In fact, Scott first learned his way around the guitar neck with some cursory help from Steve while they both were barely out of high school.
In 1980 Scott walked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. (A couple of photographs he took while hiking the AT are part of the graphics on two of his CD's.) He says he did this because he needed to think about what he would do with his life and with his guitar. Then in 1981, pulled by his love for the outdoors, he moved to Pocatello, Idaho where he became an English teacher in the Pocatello School District.
Although he has been retired from teaching since 2011, he says that... "...some of the most ardent and polite listeners of mine have been those students in my classes over the years that I have taught in the Pocatello School District. A few of those English students of mine also became guitar students during the lunch hour. I suppose the best thing I could have done with my guitar for most of my working career was to use it as a teaching tool in my classes, as I did. The apparent effect it had on my students and their learning was, and still is, more valuable to me then anything else I could have possibly done with it."
He hopes that his playing may inspire you too and bring you peace and joy in your life as well. He says, "If this happens, then all of the countless hours I have spent teaching myself to play have been all worthwhile."
While living in Pocatello, Scott has worked with a few local, and national, favorites such as Steve Eaton and his son Marcus Eaton. In the last ten years or so, he also has gotten to be good friends with such nationally recognized players as Bill Mize and Michael Gulezian, two of his favorite acoustic fingerstyle players. Both of these players have graciously encouraged Scott to become more active in performing out, recording, and getting more involved in the contemporary acoustic guitar scene.
Another influence of Scott’s is Will Ackerman. This becomes obvious when one sees Ackerman’s piece entitled “Visiting” listed as number four on Scott’s CD. This is the only non-original piece out of 15 recordings on the CD. On this recording, one can hear a pleasant mix of Scott and Ackerman as Scott gives his interpretation of this piece. In his textual annotations, he then thanks Ackerman for the impetus for another of Scott’s own pieces on the CD entitled “Sunday Visitors”.
Other influences of his have been Jorma Kaukonen, Alex De Grassi, Leo Kottke, Billy McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Chris Proctor, Ed Gerhard, Hohn Hartford, Duane Allman as well as a host of famous finger pickin’ singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, Peter, Paul, and Mary, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Don McLean, John Denver, Eric Anderson, Tom Rush, Doc and Merle Watson, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and England’s Tir Na Nog, John Martyn, Ralph McTell, John Renbourn,and many others.
The photograph of the maple leaf for the front of the CD graphics insert was taken by Scott in 1980 while on the Appalachian Trail. Inside the graphics insert, the CD includes a textual set of annotations explaining what each piece “reflects” or represents in Balsai’s life. It is here where he says, “Most of the music on this CD was inspired by the sonic synergy of my fingers dancing on the wood and steel of maple and mahogany guitars.” This explains not only the maple leaf pictured in a puddle of reflecting water on the front, but also why he chose a close-up photo of the mahogany back of one of his Taylor 512 guitars for the back of the CD graphics. The CD disc itself has an almost 3D looking photo of the three-piece maple back of his Taylor 614 with a downsized cut-out photo of the maple leaf superimposed toward the bottom of the mid piece of the maple guitar back.
On his website Taylor Guitars says of Scott : “Balsai's 'acoustic reflections' . . . glimmer with the rich, hypnotic pulse of a sun-dappled stream . . . his bright rippling notes ring with sparkling clarity . . ."
To learn more about Scott go to



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