Back in the summer of 2017 we described their second studio album, Vantage Point, as, “…wonderfully soothing…” “…bursts and sparkles with EXACTLY what was intended: The masterful acoustic guitar playing and creativity of Dave Erickson and Jim Carr.”
Dave Erickson (acoustic guitar), Jim Carr (acoustic guitar), Deon Kuhl (drums & percussion), and Rick Brough (upright bass) make up Denver, Colorado’s own, New Latitude, a four-piece acoustic jazz, new-age, easy-listening ensemble known for their ability to create skilled, ambient sound at will.
Recently, the fellas released their third studio album. The always breezy, always ambient, frequently jazzy, frequently Latin: Wood, Steel And Grace. At the first bar, we remembered everything we liked about these boys a few years back.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
Opening with Alpine Bliss, we get the technical acoustic marksmanship—and the ambient beauty—at once. This, you’ll soon learn, will be the theme of the entire album.
There is an inherent pleasantness to the music these fellas make. If you take the time to study their discography, you’ll find that this easygoing, cool-breeze style is not new. It’s more like a trademark. The first few bars of, Open Road, were a welcome reminder of this fact, and a welcome reminder of their proclivity to acoustic bliss.
Cruising Altitude alternates an urgent melody with an ambient and jazzy refrain. The melody is like a long, hot climb. The refrain is like the ice water. This is absolutely wonderful easy-listening.
A bit of Latin sass in the aptly titled, Dias Calientes, confirms the warm and tropical influences which seem to appear all over this album. BTW, at 3:10 the flat-picking gets serious, so stick around.
OUR FAVORITE TRACK… Harmonic guitar notes and a bow to a stand-up bass add notable richness in our final track. Concluding is the ever so melancholy, the subtlety sad, and the gorgeously composed, Prismatic Sky. With the natural world as its muse there’s but one thing left to do. Fans: enjoy. Students: learn. For this is how to leave a mark on your audience.
Easy-listening with a side of bliss. Skilled and warm. Sharp and smooth. Crisp and free. New Latitude’s latest studio album, Wood Steel and Grace, is a relaxing, inspiring, rejuvenating and daydreaming exercise in musical depth. An acoustic guitar album at its core, each player has found his wheelhouse in that no one ever gains—or loses—his relevance. For, this album is truly the sum of its parts—strings to tubs, as the musical relationship between them is ever present in their veteran delivery. In sum, a lovely instrumental album, clearly made with that intention by a few masters of their craft. It could only be a win.
BELOW: Listen to music from New Latitude’s album, Wood, Steel, and Grace, and connect with their website and social media platforms. Please support New Latitude by visiting them online, and playing, downloading, and/or purchasing their music, or attending a live show! And, as always, thank you for supporting real music!