Daily Freeman

Pulling Shadows – Walter Strauss Shines a light with Pulling Shadows.

“OK, stop everything you’re doing and go see Walter Strauss Saturday night. Really.

The California-based Strauss is playing intriguing guitar-based music with an artistry that’s unparalleled. Not generic singer-songwriter fare, but something a cut above the rest.

The first track, “In the Stone”, is a prime example of his formula. Even before the voice enters, the amazing interplay of the acoustic guitar and bass (Rich DePaolo on fretless) is jaw-dropping with its clever counterpoint and rhythmic textures. His flexible pipes serpentine around this motion, until an airy chorus pulls back and the organic lyrics reveal themselves.

With “Spring Song”, Strauss moves to an electric, but the same approach applies. “Love Puddle” is more disjointed and angular, “Dustdevil” is limber and loose. “Like Water” is distant and dreamy, while “Spinner’s Cascade” is stunning instrumental.

His instrumental prowess is dazzling, and an inherent spiritual quality hovers over this work. Delightfully different, do not miss Strauss, his guitar, and his music.

Strauss plays Saturday at the Rosendale Cafe. – David Malachowski