Record Review: Ed Masuga

by | Jan 1, 2011 | Reviews

Ed Masuga
Let Me Tune My Heartstrings
Berkeley, CA

“Vintage blues and contemporary folk”

As far as contemporary music goes, Let Me Tune My Heartstrings sounds like it’s from another era, mixing ’50s blues and new age folk/acoustic music. Many artists strive for complexity by adding multiple layers to their recordings. For this album, it’s refreshing to stumble upon music that is simple, yet full and rich in sound.

Each song consists of Masuga’s voice and a lone acoustic or electric guitar, with the exception of light drums on a few tracks. Accompanying Masuga is Kate Grindlay, who adds beautiful harmonic backing vocals and a bright element to the album. The guitar work is crisp and clean, with complex finger picking and fast paced rhythms. In contrast, there are a few slower numbers such as “If You Lead Me On” and “Daydreaming,” which capture the essence of ’50s R&B and doo-wop.

After a few listens, you will be left singing the entire album from memory.  Unwavering sounds of uplifting melodies and heartfelt vocals carry its listener into a trance. Let Me Tune My Heartstrings is a beautifully unique album. (Ricky’s Pizza Shack Records)

Engineered by Brian K. Parks at The Rongo’s, Clarkdale AZ and 61st St. Studio, Oakland, CA // Mixed by Brian K. Parks at the Plex, Lafayette, CA // Mastered by Eli Crews at New, Improved Recording, Oakland, CA