Masterful acoustic guitarist Johannes Linstead returns with Tales of a Gypsy, his eighth album following best-selling albums under his name -- Sol Luna Tierra, Kiss the Earth, Guitarra del Fuego, Zabuca, Mediterranea, Cafe Tropical and Mistico. Linstead has a way with a melody plus the added attraction of sharply defined finger-picking (a little flamenco here, some folk there, a bit of classical guitar influence, some smooth-jazz flavors and the occasional pop-rock lick thrown in for good measure).
Linstead plays with several other excellent musicians on every track. Sometimes he is complemented by violin, other times accordion, and on the opening track by pan pipes by special guest flutist Nicholas Gunn (a big name in his own right). There also are four percussionists on a wide variety of ethnic instruments (a full drum kit appears on one tune).
The prettiest melodies are “La Lunada” and “Sosua Bay Sunset.” Also nice are the rhythmic uptempo “Caravan of Desire,” “Tales of a Gypsy” and “Noche de la Juerga.”
If you like catchy, inventive and passionate Latin-styled acoustic-guitar music with other instrumentation, you can do no better than Johannes Linstead. His recordings can be found both in regular stores as well as online.