This guy is part of Sun City Girls, a group which I understand is a bit insane live. I hardly know anything about them, or Sir Richard Bishop, only that my friend gave me this album and it's completely nuts. By nuts I don't mean like cacophonic, earbursting nuts (as I know Sun City Girls to be) but "how.. is someone playing that?" nuts. The last album that compares is Jack Rose's Kensington Blues, but while Jack Rose leaned toward blues guitar, Bishop seems to be closer to a Spanish style, not flamenco (too cheery) but resembling it in rhythm - I'm exceedingly ignorant on the constellation of guitar styles, so I'm sure someone can come up with a closer relative than I have. I also want to say, this guy has the quickest fingers I have ever heard on a guitar, bar none - Jack Rose whups it up for sure, and it may be that what he was playing was more difficult, but for speed Bishop is off on his own, at least when he feels like it. Having just bought a guitar (a Lotus Les Paul and a surfy Univox amp if you're curious) and knowing almost nothing about playing, I am beginning to appreciate the difficulty of playing music like this.
The album starts off with a bang, "Abydos," but slows down immediately with "Dream of the Lotus Eaters" and "Romany Trail." Though the songs aren't as fast, they still are amazing, and it's good to have variety anyway. "Anatolia" strikes a nice balance, and the title track is interesting but doesn't seem to make as much ruckus as the rest. The last two tracks, really, are where it's at. "Black Eyed Blue" starts out slowly but gains momentum, gaining rhythms and melodies and combining them while moving towards a mighty conclusion. "Howrah Station" is twice as long as anything else on the album, and it's the best track in my opinion, but I dare not provide it or Typepad will be sending collection agents to my house for the bandwidth costs. The last five minutes are played with such a continuous fury that I'm honestly completely shocked that the strings did not break.
I urge you very strongly to seek this album out, if only to hear the conclusion to "Howrah Station" and hear what it truly is to be a master of an instrument.