Easy Listening

The Old Century

Artist: Don Peris

Produced by: Jemez Mountain Records

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


            A guitarist, composer, engineer and producer, Don Peris has been performing for over three decades.  He is the long time guitarist for the innocence mission, a band he formed with his wife in the late 80s with whom he has released ten full-length albums and a number of EPs.  He has also released four solo albums.  His latest solo release is The Old Century.

            I’m a sucker for a well-played guitar and this is exactly what Don Peris provides in every single track of The Old Century.  His love of the guitar truly shows in this album: “"I studied classical guitar in college and have spent the subsequent years enamored with the poetic voice of this humble instrument. I also love the atmospheric tone that can be created by the electric guitar.”  Each and every track features soothing instrumentals that radiate with a spiritual nature.  Per Peris, “While music conveys so many emotions and flashes so many images, I am most taken by it's ability to hint at the beauty of Creation and to reach the goodness that is in all.”

            One of my favorite tracks on the album is Concertina, a composition that brings to mind an Italian locale.  The song is a distinctive guitar piece which is eventually accompanied by an accordion, lending to the exotic feel.  Tracks 5 and 6, Palos Verdes and Catalonia, just beg for lyrics to accompany the music, although they are just as beautiful as instrumentals.  Track 10, Speedwell Forge , although not the last track on the album has a climactic feel - like something dramatically important is being communicated through the music in this track.

            In creating The Old Century, Don Peris sought to bring the listener a sense of spirituality through instrumental music and he has achieved just that.  The Old Century is a beautiful, soothing album showing Peris’ mastery of the guitar while at the same time expressing his spiritual nature.  This album is well-worth taking a listen to.


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