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Wayfarer: A Celtic Pilgrimage

4.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

John Doan plays the harp guitar, an obscure antique instrument with an indeterminate lineage. When you hear Doan play, it sounds like more than one musician performing. It's not that his lines are so complicated, but deep lows and ringing highs are mixed in with the sound of conventional acoustic guitar strings.

Although Doan doesn't play traditional music, the American musician uses the harp guitar to profess his love of the Celtic Isles. Wayfarer follows up his previous album, Eire: Isle of the Saints, with another collection of songs woven together with the intricacy of a Celtic knot. Inspired by his travels to sacred locations in Ireland, Doan often composed this music right on the spot. Amplified by Billy Oskay's immaculate production, Doan's gorgeous melodies lift off the heather accompanied by Irish whistles, subtle choirs, and enveloping atmospheres. With Wayfarer, Doan once again goes beyond the Celtic clichés and rote standards for an album that brings the mystery back to Ireland. --John Diliberto

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 1, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: February 1, 2011
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Valley
  • ASIN: B00000K2BH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,626 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 6, 1999
Format: Audio CD
If you loved Eire you'll be equally moved by his latest work. Wayfarer is a reflective and soulful album. #3 "Gazing on the Face of the Sea" and #10 "St. Joseph Arrives in Avalon" are two of my favorites. Also there's a distant bell sound at the beginning of #5 "The Way of My Fathers" that makes you feel like you're right there. The listening experience is enhanced by reading his stories and thoughts included in his booklet. It's, in my opinion, his best work so far.
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..and I don't even like Celtic-inspired music. John Doan is a real treat. If you have never heard any of his solo releases (this one and Eire), have a listen to some of the samples here. This Oregon-based musician primarily plays guitar (and other instruments as well) on this CD. His talent is truly amazing. He brings effortless-sounding technique to the music making it complex and accomplished, yet not over-powering. There is a Celtic feel to the music, but this is not the traditional jigs and reels music. This CD is more contemplative, and evokes a mood of green lands and misted hills--after all, it is on the Hearts O' Space label. There is some additon of complementary sounds in the music, such as distant church bells, but the addtional stuff doesn't make the music sappy or contrived. Each piece is a treat on its own, so listen to any of the samples, and you will get an idea of the spirit of the music. Doan also has a wonderful Christmas CD available from Hearts of Space--try it, too.
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WAYFARER is a lovely album of soothing contemplative pieces played with the beauty and quiet passion I expect from Doan. It is not as varied in style as EIRE: ISLE OF THE SAINTS, and if you're not listening carefully, the songs will blend right into each other. Not that this is necessarily a handicap; I use this music for my Healing Touch work and for reading and journaling, all times when sudden changing of styles and tempos might be very distracting indeed.
This album is Doan's story -- in music -- of his travels to sacred sites or "thin places" in the British Isles. If you have an hour to travel, you can take the journey yourself by reading the notes Doan provides with each song. Close your eyes to experience the song, then open them and read the notes once or twice. Then close them again and fly away.
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I bought this album because I had previous one--Eire~Isle of the Saints. I consider it not better than previous album (Eire) initially. But after listening to it again and again, I have promoted this album as one of my best favorites. The songs within always touch me and bring me to another space. It really deserves trying John Doan's work.
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