12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2002
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.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2002
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 11, 1999
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.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2000
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 1998
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!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2001
In my opinion, this album is way underrated. Aerial Bounderies is probably Hedges' most popular, but this album is amazing. When I listen to this CD, it sounds like he's in the room playing. There aren't a lot of effects, just pure guitar. Classic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2006
My parents flirted with Hedges as I was growing up, playing Breakfast in the Field and Live on the Double Planet every so often, and so when, at the age of 15 or so, the news caster played a clip of his "Because it's There" in memory of his life and death, I recognized the song and immediately went and searched out the cds which had floated in and out of my childhood.
Thankfully, both were still intact, and Breakfast in the Field soon became an album I was never without. This remains true, having replaced it a few times after losing or giving it away. And it is an album I will have until I die.
My favorites are The Happy Couple, Baby Toes, Two Days Old, and Lenono - and yet I can start the album at any point and listen, enthralled, until it ends. Each track is gorgeous, and each is incredibly different. And different from anything else you'll ever hear, especially with the added bonus of Michael Manring on multiple tracks (his additions inspiring me to buy a fretless bass).
This is one of those albums that, as another reviewer has said, will bring you to tears. He (the reviewer) is a year older than my 23 years - and here are two grown, but still young men talking about crying over another man with an acoustic guitar.
Just take some time and listen. By yourself, in a dark room, as the snow falls outside. It will find you.
on January 11, 2009
Michael Hedges was so far ahead of his time (or any time for that matter). Every song on here is a masterpiece. These are real compositions... not just a bunch of guitar riffs. The depth of sound in these recordings is amazing. It is almost all acoustic. There are a few pieces with a fretless base and one with a piano.
Micheal had the amazing ability to make one guitar sound like 3 with incredible depth and color. He was an incredible composer and an amazing player. The guitarist from another planet was a master and a pioneer. This first album contains some of his best work. I could not recommend it more highly.
on November 19, 2012
This recording was definitely an energetic musical romp for an old audiophile like myself. As I have heard others comment, Michael Hedges engages us in an active dialogue on the subject of how far and how high we are willing to take the art of waging music. I am deeply thankful and appreciative of the inspiriation and hard work reflected in this recording.
on February 17, 2008
When I first listened to this album, I think it was back in 1987, it was a blow of joy for my ears, a new style, a new very creative way of playing acoustic guitar. Hedges use of harmonics and deep and low notes creates a unique experience for the listener. Great album, great player.