Younger Than Springtime

An album of songs from the Great American Songbook (mostly) arranged for guitar and voice.

I think that there is a general association between the concept of The Great American Songbook and the lush swing-band arrangements of the late-1940’s and 1950’s; while many of the songs in this CD have been recorded in that way, our goal is to present them in a different light.

A solo guitar is capable of producing many extremes in mood and sound, but one of the things that seems to remain constant through all its myriad effects is a feeling of intimacy, and that (hopefully) is the effect that this group of songs has been able to capture.

The tunes that make up the Great American Songbook come from many places: Film, Pop, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley have all contributed many worthy standards, but this CD mostly focuses on songs that originate from the Broadway tradition. This is because I think these songs have a lot to offer a contemporary audience, yet are seldom performed outside the specialised world of musical theatre.

When we were recording the first session, I was intending to do a CD entirely with songs by Richard Rodgers, but as time went on a few other songs caught my ear so I included a few of those as well. Despite advances in instrument-making, an acoustic guitar (especially with nylon strings…) does not create a particularly big sound.

However, it is a sound that can be shaped in many ways, and in recording these songs we tried to conjure a mood that would reflect the dramatic situation of the musical they came from; Stephen has also placed the guitar and singers into different sonic spaces to amplify the sense of each song taking place in a new setting, and making it feel as if the entire album takes the listener on a journey.

I hope you enjoy listening to this CD!

- Michael Riddell

Cover Art by Jack Herd

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