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Breakfast In The Field

19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 18, 2011
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Breakfast In The Field + Aerial Boundaries + Beyond Boundaries: Guitar Solos
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Breakfast In The Field by Michael Hedges

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Released in 1981, Breakfast in the Field was part of the thrilling, early '80s rollout of "new acoustic" music unveiled by Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, where each new release and new artist seemed to yield something revelatory. The startling uniqueness of guitarist Michael Hedges's imagination and style, however, was not fully recognized until he introduced a host of tradition-jarring innovations (unexpected tunings, tappings, and rhythmic slaps) on the magnificent Aerial Boundaries three years later. Here, on just the 13th recording to carry the Windham Hill logo, the 28-year-old Hedges involves himself more with straightforward finger-picking technique--which is dazzling--and more of the peaceful, pastoral sound typically associated with early Windham Hill releases. On these terms, the disc (at a brief, vinyl-era 34 minutes) is a quiet, elegant jewel, adorned with endearing melodies ("Eleven Small Roaches," "The Unexpected Visitor"), astonishing displays of nimbleness ("Peg Leg Speed King," "Silent Anticipations"), and hints of quirkiness to come ("The Funky Avocado"). Bassist Michael Manring contributes to several tracks and even pianist George Winston, fresh off the release of Autumn and spurred by the team-spirit togetherness of early Windham Hill, lends a few notes to the reflective concluding track, "Lenono." --Terry Wood


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 18, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Windham Hill Records
  • Run Time: 35 minutes
  • ASIN: B000000NF7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,665 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Andy Williamson on February 6, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This disc is worth getting just for one track "The Happy Couple" which is one of the most beautiful, haunting tunes every written by Michael. The single plucked string against the backdrop of the low E string is nothing short of stunning. Some of the artists out there who try to impress by bombarding us with 32nd note scales could learn a few things from Mr. Hedges. Often, 'simple' is better for effect. But the term 'simple' does not fit with Michael Hedges. What's great about his music is that it is actually very complicated and difficult to play, but it doesn't sound like it would/should be.
The rest of the album is a treat as well, especially "Layover", "Eleven Small Roaches", "Baby Toes" (oh my, a gorgeous tune), and "Lenono". All of these display the impecable finger-stylings of Hedges with awe-inspiring hammer-ons, pull-offs, and timing. A great debut by the master.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mad Dog on January 7, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Back in the early 80's, this disc set the guitar world on it's collective butt. Even 20 years later, I'm amazed at the depth of talent and creativity that Michael possessed. Had he only produced this one disc, his place in music history would have been cemented. This makes me all the more sad that his life was cut short by an auto accident in '98.
Breakfast In The Field does not have a weak cut on it. Having been released on the Windham Hill label, many were content to consider it New Age and by keeping the volume low, the melodious tunes seemed to conspire with that theory. But those that witnessed his live shows realized that Michael encompassed so much more, from classical to jazz, rock and beyond. From the opening track ("Layover") we are taken on an incredible acoustic guitar journey, much like an aural rollercoaster. Mellower songs are interspersed with the more intense until track eleven ("Silent Anticipations") arrives to peel back any remaining preconceptions we may have about the limitations of solo acoustic guitar. Fortunately, the disc ends with the meditative "Lenono", allowing our pulses to return from the stratosphere.
This album is truly a Desert Island Selection. It's hard to imagine that anyone that likes instrumental acoustic guitar not falling totally in love with it. Pair it with the second album ("Aerial Boundaries") for a killer one-two punch. Knockout.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Michael Hedges is undoubtedly one of the greatest acoustic guitar musicians to have lived, if not the absolute greatest. My advice to anyone who is learning to play acoustic guitar is listen to Hedges's compositions. "Aerial Boundaries" is probably his best compilation, but his first album, "Breakfast in the Field," should be listened to closely many times if you have not yet discovered Hedges. Indeed, all of his CD's are truly remarkable, however, "Breakfast in the Field" carries a subtle and energetic visual lyricism that moves into places that are epic, infinite and deeply intimate. I have yet to own all of his recordings, but I know I could listen to "Breakfast in the Field" for the rest of my days if it was the only Hedges that I ever owned.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brandon S. on December 18, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have been aware of Mike Hedges for a number of years, even before he passed away tragically in 1997. It was a big deal to musicians and music lovers from all over, yet I wasn't seeing it that way, I wasn't at the point of my life to realize what a great loss of a master it was. Now, over 3 years later, here I am, listening to this beautiful CD, "Breakfast in the Field", which was Hedges's debut release, and coincidentally a year before my debut (well, my birth anyhow). I cannot describe how.....earthy, this music is. Just picture a perfect day in nature, amongst the trees, where the wind is blowing gently and you feel lighter than you've ever felt. This is how Michael Hedges music makes me feel, and it has done the same for countless others. Now that I am older, I can appreciate this music, and I can feel the depth of spirit and emotion that is present. Hedges was a guitar genius, but not a virtuoso of any means. Utilizing alternate tunings, tapping notes, slapping and popping notes, gently carressing the notes, he made the guitar an extention of the soul, and what made this even better was that his was a beautiful soul, and he was indeed an enigma. Outside of maybe John Mclaughlin (Zakir) and Jeff Beck (Cause We've Parted as Lovers), no other guitarist has made me cry when I hear their work. However, with songs like "Two Days Old" and "Lenono", there's not much else you can do but cry! This is pure music, music of extreme beauty, and I highly suggest it. You will not regret purchasing this CD whatsoever. Although i've yet to hear the others, I will, and i'll undoubtedly praise it on this site! And I will say as others have said, rest in peace, Michael Hedges. There will never be another like you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Michael Hedge's was a musician beyond comparison. I have all of his published works, and "Breakfast in the Field" is the first one that I reach for when I load Michael onto the CD turntable. His guitar techniques are something unexplainable to even the most experienced players (which I am not), and listening to his music was only 1/2 of the Hedge's experience. Unfortunately, we are no longer blessed with the ability to see him perform, so anyone wishing to become an instant "Roothead" should immediately order this (and any other) CD!
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