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Vin Downes | When the Sea Lets Go

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Alex de Grassi Michael Hedges Will Ackerman

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New Age: Solo Instrumental New Age: Neo-Classical Moods: Solo Instrumental
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When the Sea Lets Go

by Vin Downes

Vin Downes' fourth album, When the Sea Lets Go, was recorded at Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, Vermont and produced by Grammy Award winning guitarist and producer Will Ackerman and award winning engineer/co-producer Tom Eaton.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Entwined and Lost
4:08 $0.99
2. Evening in Berkeley
6:00 $0.99
3. Morning Red
4:05 $0.99
4. Dust and Drag
5:30 $0.99
5. Just Before You Leave
4:55 $0.99
6. Everything Ahead
3:50 $0.99
7. When the Sea Lets Go
4:19 $0.99
8. Streets of Sunday
4:44 $0.99
9. The Right Words Are Simple
4:09 $0.99
10. All You Left Behind
4:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Vin Downes - Guitar
Tom Eaton - Piano
Michael Manring - Bass

Produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton

Recorded at Imaginary Road Studios, Windham County Vermont

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios and Universal Noise Storage.

Vin Downes plays Stonebridge Guitars, K&K Pickups and Elixir Strings.

This album was recorded entirely on a Stonebridge OOM32LMDB guitar.



to write a review

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapesradio.com
Guitarist Vin Downes’ latest release, titled When the Sea Lets Go, was recorded at Imaginary Road Studios in beautiful Vermont. Produced by guitarist and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, along with multi-instrumentalist and recording engineer Tom Eaton, the album is comprised of ten lovely acoustic compositions recorded on steel-string guitar, which overall convey the signature essence of classic Windham Hill recordings by the likes of Will Ackerman, Michael Hedges and Alex de Grassi.

“Entwined and Lost” is a gentle opener that paints a scenic landscape of solitude, as it likewise conveys a comfortingly warm and down-to-earth feel. Vin’s guitar-playing style is at once detailed and intricate, yet perfectly understated and overall low-key, as he imparts a smoothly flowing and velvety touch throughout the compositions. The third track, “Morning Red”, is a comparatively brighter and quicker-paced tune that gently uplifts the spirits, as it brings to mind that of peering out on a terrace while an early sunshine pours through the colorful leaves of towering trees. On the fourth track, “Dust and Drag”, Michael Manring’s bass guitar enters at about the halfway mark, as it seemingly forms a dancing pair with Vin’s guitar for a few moments before exiting the stage. The fifth track, “Everything Ahead”, is one of the most upbeat compositions on the album, imparting subtle overtones of Americana. It’s easy to imagine driving into the sunset while listening to this seemingly carefree yet contemplative piece, letting go of all stresses and worries. The title-piece and seventh track, “When the Sea Lets Go”, is one of the most melodically beautiful and emotive compositions on the album, in which an atmosphere of evening is conveyed, perhaps while standing alone by the seashore. A hint of sunlight peers through on the lovely eighth track, “Streets of Sunday”, in which a delicate piano melody courtesy of Tom Eaton enters towards the end of the piece in just the perfect timing, as it gently drifts and twirls around the centerpiece. A few of the album’s song titles especially leave one with the intriguing impression of wondering what their story might be, as they seem to have captured a brief but lingering moment in time. Among these are the fifth and ninth tracks, respectively titled “Just Before You Leave” and “The Right Words are Simple”, as well as the lulling final piece, “All You Left Behind”.

A most comforting album of solitude and reflection, When the Sea Lets Go is one of the loveliest acoustic guitar recordings that I’ve heard recently, as well as a particularly suitable companion for reading, writing, reflection and remembrance. Vin Downes possesses a supremely beautiful guitar-playing style that boasts constant fluidity and subtle intricacy, as he creates a warmly intimate, personal and enveloping soundscape throughout. A fantastic album that is rather simple without a grand display of bells and whistles, Vin has decidedly taken a less-is-more approach here, which in this case works to absolute perfection!

Kelly Wurth

Must-have soundtrack for your life
As a listener and guitar enthusiast, I’m enthralled with Vin Downes’ latest album release, When the Sea Lets Go. I’ve followed his music rather closely, loving and studying several of his previous compositions, which have deepened my own guitar experience.
The performances on When the Sea Lets Go reach a new level of grace, subtlety and depth. Vin’s music demonstrates a maturity and subtlety of design that I could only hope to achieve in my own playing. His touch sounds effortless, but embodies his dedication and classical mastery of acoustic fingerstyle technique. His compositions have become more complex and finely-woven, as evident here, without becoming confusing or overwhelming. Rather, they draw me in with their gentle emotional dynamics.
This listener appreciates the weaving, the intriguing variations and the ease of listening. When I want to immerse myself in the music’s patterns and resonance, the pleasing dimensions are there to explore, but the performances equally lend themselves to subtle background enjoyment.
Once again, Vin Downes’ compositions and performances enrich the soundtrack of my life.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"When the Sea Lets Go" is the fourth album from guitarist/composer Vin Downes. Eight of the ten tracks are solo acoustic guitar; one features Tom Eaton on piano, and one features Michael Manring on bass. This is the second of Downes’ albums that has been produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios; Eaton also recorded, mixed, and mastered the album. Downes’ hypnotic music gently soothes and relaxes with the peaceful ebb and flow of ocean waves. Nuance and subtlety are very much a part of his playing style, proving once again that “less is more.” His masterful guitar playing and composing come from the heart and express far more than words can ever say.

Downes began studying the guitar at the age of eleven, later earning a degree in classical guitar performance and music education from William Paterson University. While in college, he studied classical composition and had several of his compositions performed by soloists and ensembles. Downes has recorded and performed with a variety of musicians and is a public school teacher in New Jersey, teaching classical guitar at Bayonne High School.

"When the Sea Lets Go" begins with “Entwined and Lost,” an enchanting piece that is wistful and dreamy while demonstrating the exquisite beauty of solo acoustic guitar and Vin Downes’ soulful playing. “Evening in Berkeley” continues in quiet tones, describing a peaceful, blissful side of Berkeley I don’t think I’ve ever experienced (but would like to!). “Morning Red” ups the tempo a bit, expressing the anticipation and promise of a new day. “Dust and Drag” features legendary bassist Michael Manring, who adds his own special magic to this lovely piece. “Just Before You Go” is a favorite. Warm, melodic, and more than a little poignant, the emotions expressed are honest and heartfelt. “Everything Ahead” is a bit livelier, conveying a sense of optimism for the future. The title track is another favorite. Smooth and graceful, it reminds me of the mesmerizing effect of watching a sunset over a calm ocean. “Streets of Sunday” is mostly solo guitar, but Tom Eaton adds some piano near the end. Lazy and contented, it’s a reminder of what Sundays should feel like! “All You Left Behind” brings the album to a close, expressing deep emotion that really touches the heart. Beautifully melancholy and very sincere, this is my favorite piece on the album.

"When the Sea Lets Go" is outstanding from the first note to the last. If you like solo acoustic guitar, this album is an absolute must! Very highly recommended!

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com
Only your heart
Will guide you on the path

These very simple at first look and at the same time strong guitar chords capture the listener’s heart from the first seconds. The music of Vin Downes is very thoughtful and sincere. It penetrates into the deep corners of your soul and arouses most sweet memories. This music releases hidden emotions and washes your heart with warm Summer rain.

The meditative guitar of Vin Downes gently leads you and gives you a perspective to see the world as it exists, and to feel all its beauty. And you can, also, easily sense the beauty of your own heart.

The guitar playing of Vin Downes has several very important features. It is filled with inner freedom. And this music wakes up your mind and excites a very wide range of emotions. All compositions of the gifted artist are full of life and they gently push you to start your personal travel to the unknown. Who knows what will happen with you on the path, but you definitely won’t be the same after this gripping journey…

I’d like to add only a few about the album “When the Sea Lets Go”. Vin Downes is a brilliant guitarist and his musical messages have amazing clearness and purity.

The album “When the Sea Lets Go” was produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton and the sound design of this project is beyond praise. You can easily listen to each simple note. You are able to perceive the thinnest nuances of the diverse guitar of Vin Downes, who is really a superb artist.

I am sure the newest release of Vin Downes will be one of the brightest events of the new year. Listen to this refined music and just look inside. You’ll see where the beauty of this world is hidden. Now is the time to feel it, now is the very right moment to return this beauty back to our world. It needs your actions…

Steve Sheppard

Review from One World Music Radio (www.oneworldmusic.co.uk)
Sometimes in life there is a moment in time that you wish would never end, something so beautiful and calming comes in and changes everything, that moment is here for me right now in the guise of Vin Downes and his latest release entitled, When The Sea Lets Go.
I have been a fan of Vin’s music ever since I came across the superb Unlike the Stars. As a guitarist myself, listening to his performance gives me something to aspire to. The opening piece to this tranquil album is called Entwined and Lost; it’s a melodic track that seems to weave its way around your mind in a repeating pattern of pure ambience.
On Evening In Berkeley we have one of those moments that perhaps could be described as halcyon, Downes smooth and mood filled guitar reaches the depths of a sunset so peace filled and calming, you simply just want this blissful experience to never end, its six minutes of pure musical magic.
Recorded and produced in the Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont under the watchful eye of the legend that is Will Ackerman, Downes has put together something quite breath-taking and beautiful, very much like this next offering called Morning Red. Here Downes brings to the table a light but more up-tempo offering, that has a real sun kissed feel to its manifestation. The fluency on guitar here by the artist is really something to be utterly enjoyed.
The gentle and picturesque track Dust and Drag is up next, this is a delight to just flow with, and the smooth and harmonic sense of bliss here is just what’s needed. The rhythm and melody are utterly charming and very addictive. I can imagine I will be whistling this one while I take my coastal walk tomorrow, this track also features some quite delicious bass, provided by non-other than Michael Manring.
At the half way juncture we come across a sensitive piece called Just Before You Leave. Here Downes creates some wonderful narrative, that is quite emotive in its construction, while the track has a slight mournful resonance, it also seems to contain a balancing of energies, with some deep felt moments of memory, created with such a delicate level of tenderness, I guarantee this one will move you.
On Everything Ahead we are really in Windham Hill territory and within this piece one can feel a certain sense of movement, it’s as if we’re travelling down a country road, with the windows open with the warm summer wind across our faces. This is one of those feel good pieces that you won’t fail to like.
The title track is next, When The Sea Lets Go, this is sublime. I live near an ocean, so I can tell you that the movement and tones fit perfectly. The subtle but ever flowing tempo and style is not only creative but both memorable and quite moving in parts as well. In my opinion Downes has completely excelled with his title heading composition, and this is also my favourite offering off the album.
We have found our way into the deeper waters of this release constant reader, and as we slowly oar our musical boat around the river bend, we come across a lovely track filled with a colour and warmth that makes it even more expressive, this one is called Streets Of Sunday. I am old enough to remember the time before the all-encompassing ills of endless consumerisation; I used to love to walk out on a sunny Sunday morning with the tranquil hum of the day all around me, the sounds of birdsong, and the wind blowing silently in the trees, all perfectly described in music by Vin Downes.
Well this is the penultimate piece off the album, dear listener of stylish music, and at this crossroads of musical bliss you will find a sign saying, The Right Words Are Simple. Once more the artist is in the flow, Downes artistry is really evident here in this classy composition, we can indeed be mesmerised by its charm filled tones and construction.
That sad moment has arrived, and our journey with Vin Downes is now nearly over, but wait, before you leave, take this musical gift along with you, it’s called All You Left Behind. You have to listen to the skill set used here by the musician, the chords and notes are so steeped in wisdom and passion. We end this truly magnificent album in a moment of sublime reflection, what a brilliant end to a brilliant release.
When The Sea Lets Go is an experience that you must not miss, it’s a musical pathway that you must allow yourself to bathe in. I have heard many acoustic based guitar albums in my years as a writer and broadcaster, but this release has to be one of the warmest, most welcoming and cleverly performed for quite some time, you must grasp a copy of this album as quick as possible.