El McMeen | Acoustic Guitar Treasures

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New Age: Celtic New Age World: Celtic Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Acoustic Guitar Treasures

by El McMeen

"one of the finest solo guitar recordings I've had the pleasure of reviewing." (Dirty Linen)
Genre: New Age: Celtic New Age
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Lord Inchiquin
3:05 album only
2. Time Will End
2:39 album only
3. Jacob's Ladder
3:33 album only
4. The Derry Air (Danny Boy)
3:22 album only
5. The Turning of the Road
2:54 album only
6. Hard Times
3:38 album only
7. Mo Giolla Mear
3:39 album only
8. Pretty Maid Milking a Cow
3:17 album only
9. Hyfrydol
3:35 album only
10. Moran's Return
3:00 album only
11. Sheebeg and Sheemore
2:35 album only
12. Fairest Lord Jesus
2:52 album only
13. The South Wind
4:15 album only


Album Notes
Album Description:

This album of El McMeen's solo steel-string guitar playing features classic tunes in the Celtic, traditional and sacred genres. It was named a Finalist as acoustic instrumental album of the year in 1998 by Crossroads Music.

Editorial Reviews:

Dirty Linen June/July 1998
a treasure...one of the finest solo guitar recordings I've had the pleasure of reviewing.

Acoustic Guitar 1998
McMeen's tone is gorgeous, his playing is nuanced, and his chamber-Celtic arrangements honor the melodies.

Metronome Mag. Nov.1998
... touching and sweet, ethereal and magical all at the simplest bending of a note or picking of a chord.


El McMeen began playing the acoustic guitar while attending Harvard in the mid-1960's. At the time he took up guitar, he was an accomplished clarinet player and singer, and had studied piano. At first, McMeen didn't approach the guitar primarily as a solo instrument, but used it as accompaniment for his singing. Upon reapplying himself in the early 1980's to the instrument, he encountered what he saw as an incredible breadth of music that one could try to render on guitar. In studying the guitar as a solo instrument, he moved away from relying solely on the alternating bass technique and the standard American repertoire. He found himself attracted to Irish music, alternative tunings, and different approaches to rendering and arranging music.

After listening to Dave Evans on Irish Jigs, Reels, Hornpipes, and Airs (1979, Kicking Mule, reissued on Shanachie 97011), McMeen became attracted to the richness of the CGDGAD tuning and found it accessible, evocative and versatile, and extremely stimulating to his own creativity on the guitar. After years of arranging scores of tunes in the tuning, El has become the foremost guitarist in the world in this tuning, and he has written extensively for Mel Bay, including collaborating on the ground-breaking book The Complete Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar Book (95217BCD), co-written with Stefan Grossman and Duck Baker.

His music is characterized by lyrical beauty and a sensitivity to melodic phrases enhanced with tasteful arpeggios, cross-picking, and walking bass lines, and his uptempo pieces evidence energy and pulse.

El is one of the premier guitarists in the world in capturing the beauty and soul of Celtic music, and has extended his art to traditional, pop and spiritual music. His artistry has been praised by numerous publications, including Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine and Guitar Player Magazine. El's music has been hailed by critics as "stirring... unbridled acoustic beauty" and "drop-dead gorgeous" (Guitar Player Magazine) and as a "treasure" (Dirty Linen Magazine). El has toured throughout the United States. His performances have been acclaimed as "spellbinding," and he has been praised as a "captivating performer."



to write a review

Tim Douglass

Good listening!
El McMeen does a very nice job on this collection. I enjoy the variety and am impressed by his musicianship.