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Tales of a Gypsy

Johannes Linstead

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Album Review

The goal of any musician who likens himself to a gypsy should be to transport listeners to many different geographic and emotional places — and Johannes Linstead, whose exotic global fusion has unfortunately been lumped into the new age category for years — once again delivers an exciting, inspiring, and sometimes even spontaneous ticket to the world. A multiple award winner at several prominent musical events in his native Canada, he draws on his European heritage and a lifetime of travel to bring authenticity to his blend of explosive and sweetly intimate melodies and a wide variety of moods and rhythms. Linstead, who lives part of the year near Toronto and other months in the Dominican Republic, seduces immediately with a cheerful bird soundscape on the intro to "Jungle Love," a lively romp punctuated by crisp, precise acoustic plucking and Nicholas Gunn's wistful pan pipes. Another prominent guest is violinist Vasyl Popadiouk, who adds a wild, dancing element to the exuberant "Noche de la Juerga," and engages in a folksy dialogue while adding harmonic mysticism to the the Django Reinhardt-esque "Bella Bella." Linstead complements his speedy fingerstyling (typified by the wild at heart "Caravan of Desire" with gentler expressions like the reflective "September Remembered." Somewhere in the middle is "Vagabond Stomp," whose sweetly flowing, midtempo guitar melody is backed by the wistful romance of Jordan Abraham's swaying accordion. The focus as always is on Linstead's lead and harmonic guitar lines, but his choice of exotic instruments is noteworthy: udu drum, doumbek, and an array of congas, bongos, and timbales. Overall, another triumphant trip around the world by a guy who never fails to stamp a fascinating passport.

Customer Reviews


Never heard of this artist but I previewed the songs and he is special. Really nice melodies with great guitar work. I recommend it completely.

Beautiful music

His music is so full of life and joy. I found him VIA Pandora radio and have been an immediate fan. I was excited to see new work and was happily impressed.


On TALES OF A GYPSY, acoustic guitarist and composer Johannes Linstead shows a variety of influences -- his love of jungle rain-forests, gypsy jazz, the guitar-violin swing of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, rhumba flamenco, the accordion-sound of the European cafe scene, and Cajun/Creole flavors.

While his guitar-playing has a Latin focus, Johannes Linstead is inspired by music he has heard all around the world, and he regularly works with top musicians from many different countries giving the music a true world-fusion sound. Linstead is joined on this CD by violinist Vasyl Popadiouk from the Ukraine, accordion player Jordan Abraham whose parents are from India, flutist Nicholas Gunn who was born and raised in England, oudist Geoff Hlibka from Canada, and four percussionists -- Anastasios Bigas (from Greece), Jalidan Ruiz (from Cuba), Sina Khossravi (from Iran) and Alex Godinez (of Guatemalan heritage).

Linstead writes strong compositions and his finger-picking is clean, innovative and vibrant. For a top-notch world-fusion recording, take a listen to TALES OF A GYPSY.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Instrumentalist Johannes Linstead is not an easy artist to categorize. Some listeners have described the acoustic guitarist's ambitious, far-reaching albums as new age (although he is much more energetic than new age artists are typically known for being), and others have labeled him nuevo flamenco (that is, modern flamenco-pop rather than traditional straight-ahead flamenco). But while some of his acoustic guitar playing is, in fact, relevant to Spain's nuevo flamenco scene, the truth is that contemporary...
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Tales of a Gypsy, Johannes Linstead
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