William Tyler: Impossible Truth


Nashville picker William Tyler stakes his claim in a previously untouched area of guitar-based instrumental music. Mixing the celestial meanderings of Leo Kottke, the aloof aura of John Fahey, and the elevating transcendence of James Blackshaw, Tyler's sound could be described as "raga Americana." Impossible Truth, Tyler's second solo LP, largely consists of a sole guitar with occasional accompaniment by pedal steel and bass making the narrative breadth that much more astounding. "Country of Illusion" and "Cadillac Desert" suggest a sunburnt landscape littered with hope and loss. "A Portrait of Sarah" gives brief yet ample spotlight to Tyler's virtuous playing, with sprinting cycles of melody tightly spiraling toward the sky. The album sprawls without bloating or ever going stale. (4 out of 5 stars)