Bringing together the very best in engaging, stylish acoustic finger-picking, infectious rhythms, smooth vocals and songs that tell stories that captivate, From The Beginning and More is a decidedly pure yet powerful collection; with a clear edge of soul and skilful musicianship running throughout it.
Boasting four decades worth of experience as an active musician, Eric van Aro’s professionalism and unwavering passion for the process shine with equal brightness throughout this stunning collection of tracks.
The opener, From The Beginning, pours through like an intimate jazz guitar performance, with an equally free-roaming vocal song to back up the minimalist yet emotive nature of the progression.
From here on in, the guitar-work proves as eclectic as the song choices, with more than a few unexpected appearances from well-known hits.
And When I Die is immediately a highlight, with engaging slide guitar and passionate, soulful, raspy vocals that dig deep into a thoughtful, widely relatable topic of perspective and depth. The musicianship is at the top of its game, feeling like a Jon Butler Trio piece, with equal parts blues, folk and Americana.
Nostalgia plays a huge role in making this album so appealing and consistently interesting. The crackle and vintage vocal of Rhythm in My Nursery Rhymes follows on well, then there’s the piano-led swagger and mellow warmth of Put The Weight On My Shoulder.
The sheer versatility is incredibly impressive, building further on the clear ability and connection of the artist. The whole thing plays out like a greatest hits from a simpler time, with some mighty features for further dynamic and appeal.
During the mid-section we get the retro shuffle and satisfying melodic progression of He’s Misstra Know-it-all, the subsequent rhythm and ambient soul of The Moon’s a Harsh Mistress, and the following slide-guitar work and country story-telling of Can’t Find My Way Home. Rain (Alternative Mix) is also a well-placed moment of soulful calm and quiet contemplation.
Other highlights include a stylish, organic and soothing arrangement of The Christmas Song, and the blissfully seductive, guitar-led soundscape and provocative Bowie hit that is This Is Not America – a personal favourite.
The project even includes a few completely unexpected remixes, some well-placed electro-house, future house and deep house to bring things to an energising, immersive and uplifting finish.
Ultimately the title of this album covers its sense of limitless variety quiet brilliantly. There’s no end to the creativity, and these tracks do indeed showcase the very best of Eric van Aro’s musical journey over the past forty years or so.