Guitarist Julian Lage celebrates new album with solo performance at KNKX

Guitarist Julien Lage first visited KNKX studios in 2011, after the release of their second album, Gladwell. Over a decade and 12 albums later, Lage returned for a solo session that showcased his prodigious talent and a mature artist at the top of his game.

Lage’s last three albums and his trio with bassist jorge roder and drummer David Kingcover the period just before the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent return to maskless concerts. Love Hurts showed a trio getting to know each other. Strabismus found a trio that is struggling to come together due to health restrictions. The brand new album See with a roomtheir second effort to Blue note folders, comes from a well-run unit. It also adds a very special guest.

Bill Friselle, an innovative and versatile guitarist whose jazz has inspired modern folk and roots music, is a perfect match for Lage’s clean, open sound. In a chat with KNKX, Lage talked about the collaboration, his new compositions, and how Frisell seemed to know exactly how to improve each song. Even when it meant sitting down because it sounded better with the trio.

See with a room was produced by Lage’s wife Margaret Glaspy, and Lage highlighted his expertise in understanding his creative process. He also noted the importance of the album’s engineer Mark Goodellwhom Lage calls “another band member”.

Performing solo at KNKX Studios, Lage returned to his previous solo album, World Exhibition. Recorded in 2015 on an acoustic guitar made in 1939, it was inspired by the classical guitarist Andrés Segovia and early country and folk music. “Day and Age” sounds like an unreleased country blues masterpiece played by an unknown guitar master in the back of a forgotten truck stop.

New music from See with a room included the meditative but fiery “Let Every Room Sing”. Finally, Lage jumped into the beautiful “Auditorium”. Both are filled with beautiful melodies, thrilling flights of improvisation and the confidence of a young guitar master.

Lage also spoke about developing his own sound, saying he stripped away anything in his style that blocked the “true nature” of his playing.

“That’s my essence, what I did as a kid, and that’s enough.”

Songs:

  1. Let every room sing
  2. Day and age
  3. Hall

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