96kHz/24-bit, FLAC; MQA; Acoustic Music Records 319.1562.2 (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
Steve Hicks is the kind of guitarist who can keep a crowd entertained for hours. This sweetly varied collection covers popular tunes reaching back to ‘Hungarian Dance No 5’ and ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ and forward into the modern era. His deft interpretation of ‘Funeral March Of A Marionette’ is as much fun as his conflation of Led Zeppelin and Mozart in the closing piece ‘Stairway To Mozart’, but he ventures into darker territory with ‘Bohemian Three-Step’. Here and there, he can’t help quoting melodically related tunes. Gorgeously recorded, these selections capture the body resonance of Hick’s guitar, his fingerpicking/fretting sounds clearly articulated but never to the detriment of the music. His love for the pieces shines through in each performance, the whole affair emotionally lightweight but completely engaging, with high foot-tapping quotient. BW
Sound Quality: 85%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Steve Hicks’ acoustic guitar shows a significant range with its rich harmonics reaching out to the ~24kHz limit of the undecoded file. The MQA decode shows mainly tape and/or system noise (plus some spuriae at 48kHz) beyond this. PM
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