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Terra Guitarra — Spirit Wheel

Jan. 1, 2018

Terra Guitarra has become a TSJR favorite duo to critique. Their Latin-laced fluidity and exotic texture is always musically exhilarating. This time, with their new release called Spirit Wheel, they have steered a bit in a new direction, highlighting not just the always-satisfying Latin guitar touch but moving into more “spiritual, healing, meditational, transformational, trance/chill” compositions “designed to help listeners explore internally first and their place in the universe.” Deep, but it works as their music continues to be almost ethereally melodic and all-encompassing.

Different on many levels from their previous work, Spirit Wheel moves and dances through the mind and soul of the receptive listener with the ease of a cat’s stride and massages your being better than any masseuse.

The softly approaching music starts with the lead track “Autumns Breath” and continues to weave a gentle dream with tracks like “Ambrosia,” “Daydream,” the title track, “Lemuria,” “Palomino,” and more.

This is the duo’s 9th album, and they consider it to be “medicine” for themselves and their audience. Lead guitarist and composer Bruce Hecksel states that “The album should immediately pull a person inside, into their inner self. At this time on Earth, energy is scattered, tattered and divided; so, we made this album to pull ourselves into focus and into our oneness of self which is the pathway towards us experiencing the larger oneness that includes everyone and everything.” While this may all sound so very profound (and it is) to so many who may then pull back out of fear that this may be too “heavy” for them and that the music may get lost in the mix. Trust me: That is not the case. Yes, it’s spiritual, meditational, and even cerebral and certainly evokes introspection, but it is still, at its core, beautiful music. Process it in whatever way you will, but Hecksel’s words should serve as a guide, a recommendation as to how you might want to perceive this project.

I found this enlightening and certainly a bit atypical for the duo, and I honestly do hope they will return to that exotic Latin guitar sweetness I have come to know so well – but, as Hecksel explained, there is a reason and purpose for making this particular album. That reason is so real and needed to be addressed in just this way. Take some time out and simply settle back and absorb this place of peace. – Ronald Jackson