Will Stratton: Rosewood Almanac – neatly fusing skills and influences

Rosewood Almanac
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Artist: Will Stratton
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Bella Union

US songwriter and singer Will Stratton makes no excuses for his debts to the likes of Nick Drake and Sufjan Stevens, yet there's something else entirely at work across Rosewood Almanac, his sixth studio record since 2007.

If the album is weighed under slightly by the residual memory of having successfully completed treatment for testicular cancer in 2012, then it holds up well. With dextrous fingerpicking and an equally skilful style that references the work of US guitarists John Fahey (1939-2001) and Leo Kottke, Stratton delivers songs that are, compositionally, textbook retro-drenched folk – albeit with a twist that nods to minimalists Steve Reich and Terry Riley.

More names to conjure with, we know, but Stratton fuses such influences with his creative idiosyncrasies so well it’s almost impossible to see the joins.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture