Bryan Lubeck : Welcome Winter Review
Welcome Winter, the latest holiday offering from acclaimed guitarist Bryan Lubeck, is a fusion of traditional holiday melodies with contemporary musical sensibilities. Lubeck’s album is a symphonic journey that reinvents the soundscape of holiday music, blending his renowned Spanish guitar stylings with a rich ensemble of acoustic instruments.
The album opens with a spellbinding rendition of “Deck the Halls,” where Lubeck’s acoustic guitar takes the lead, weaving a warm and inviting melody. The track is elevated by the contributions of Joel Norman on the vibraphone, Nick Bisesi on flute, violinist Erik Rumsa, and Neil Artwick on piano. The arrangement has a harmonious balance between presenting the melody and improvised solos. The solos of Bisesi’s flute and Lubeck’s guitar are engaging.
In “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” Lubeck presents a contemporary rendition that is multi-layered and rhythmically innovative. The expressive guitar work, characterized by intricate slides and bends, imbues the track with a modern flair, showcasing Lubeck’s ability to transform a classic carol into something entirely new and vibrant. This will appeal to a wide range of musical tastes.
The title track, “Welcome Winter,” is an original composition by Lubeck that shows his compositional gifts. The melody is catchy yet sophisticated, demonstrating his harmonious musical storytelling and melodic flow.
“The Christmas Song,” performed as a duet with Salazar’s flute, is a beautifully understated piece. Lubeck’s guitar provides a delicate yet compelling foundation, allowing the flute’s warm tones to shine. The arrangement is elegant and sounds of the essence of the season’s emotions.
“Jingle Bells” is reimagined with a contemporary rock/pop twist, infused with Lubeck’s acoustic guitar tones. This creative approach adds an unexpected and enjoyable dynamism to the familiar tune, showcasing Lubeck’s versatility and willingness to experiment.
“What Child Is This” begins with a stunning solo guitar introduction, setting a contemplative tone. The subsequent addition of percussion and layered guitars enriches the melody, adding a depth and complexity that is captivating and enjoyable to have playing during the festivities.
In “Mary Did You Know,” the blend of acoustic guitar and cello arrangements creates a lush and emotive soundscape. The instrumentation gives the song an unique texture with wonderful playing by all.
Finally, “Carol of the Bells” is a harmonious blend of contemporary pop, new age, jazz, folk, and traditional holiday music. The track features lush guitar chords and mellow strings, with the flute adding an extra dimension of tonal color.
Welcome Winter is an enjoyable collection of eight songs that show Bryan Lubeck’s ability to breathe new life into holiday classics while introducing a memorable original composition. The album is an auditory feast, rich in musicality and festive appeal, making it a contemporary holiday instrumental album that will appeal to everyone.
November 3, 2023
Vineyard Music Productions