Candle Power: Gary Seber Casts an Electrifying New Light on Acoustic Guitar

His style is formally classified as "acoustic percussive fingerstyle" guitar.  But there are hardly adequate words to describe the experience of Gary Seber's music flooding over you, or bearing witness to his fingers flying over wound steel and carved wood.  His debut album, Candle Power, features the highly innovative but little-known technique of playing the neck of an open-tuned guitar, coaxing an amazing abundance of sound from the solo instrument.

As with many on the cutting edge of new musical expression, music has been an integral part of Gary's life from a very young age.  His mother, an elementary school music teacher, started him off with a ukulele at age nine, and soon after he discovered the guitar.  Gary spent thirteen young years in England and three years in Singapore, returning to the States brimming with the influence of legends such as James Taylor, Neil Young and the Beatles.  After a long stretch of playing cover tunes by such artists, Gary was "blown away" by a good friend showing him a video of Preston Reed on acoustic guitar.  With the guidance of Reed's instructional video and concert video, he proceeded to teach himself an entirely new way of playing the guitar.  His mastery of this new medium naturally evolved into his composition of a variety of original material.    

A new touch for a whole new sound.

Gary emulates an electrifyingly unique style developed by Preston Reed, attacking the fretboard with fervent passion and two hands to produce a flowing, multifaceted sound.  While the inspirational Reed has not penetrated into the homogenous mainstream consciousness, anyone with a preset notion of the range of possibilities for the guitar cannot fail to be stunned at the potential he sent skyrocketing into sonic space.  Since the late 70's, Reed has recorded thirteen albums, three videos, and toured and wowed audiences on three continents with the seemingly effortless proficiency with which he cajoles an unbelievable range of sounds from the acoustic guitar. 

Candle Power is a testament to both the light and force that Gary brings with his fine touch on the guitar. The album begins with the upbeat title track "Candle Power," which quickly establishes his vibrant polyrhythms and melodic counterpoint.  His lilting fingerpicking dances over steady, metered plucking and tapping that forge a sort of beat within the dynamic percussive element of the style.  The track builds with continuous resonating strikes over the fast picking, with insistent tones layering over each other up to an accelerated finish.  Track three, "Behind the Eyes," blends rhythmical tapping, a jazzy underlying pulse, a feel-good vibe, and contemplative melodies all at once.  The standout fourth track, "Panic Button," is an upbeat, up-tempo, foot-tappin', boot-stompin' romp.  The eighth and final track, "Parallel Universe," beckons the listener to a lush, mellifluous journey along its relaxed tempo.  The lilting notes rising over deeper, firmer plucks lead the receptive listener to a newfound comfort within sonic contrasts and a more poignant plane of consciousness.

Filming for local Houston television.

The multifaceted appeal of this album reaches a broad audience and spans a range of moods, making it the perfect accompaniment throughout the day.  Tracks such as the playful, jaunty "Scratch" provide a highly listenable pick-me-up for the morning car ride to work, while mellower tracks such as "For the Love of Pete" lend a gentle ambiance for a calm evening.  Overall, this compilation of new and innovative songs can act as a jolt of java to your joints.  Especially with the invigorating, up-tempo tracks, you just can't listen and sit still.  Yet as your body strives to correspond to all the dynamics, your mind will be inclined to stop short in awe in the attempt to pick out all the different musical elements - elements all incredibly derived from a single instrument.  The wonder engendered by the process of the album's creation leaves musical aficionados of every stripe breathless.  From his numerous club dates in his hometown of Houston, Texas to his groundswell of popularity via internet sales, Gary Seber's burgeoning fan base is as diverse as it is passionate.  Immerse yourself in the warm glow of Gary Seber's Candle Power.

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