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Live On the Double Planet

Michael Hedges

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Album Review

Sporting some very classy covers along with Michael Hedges' own elegant and diverse guitar compositions culled from eight years worth of Windham Hill recordings, Live on the Double Planet boasts 12 tracks picked by the guitarist from live recordings that covered dozens of performances. In addition to his trademark instrumental stylings ("The Funky Avocado," "Breakfast in the Field"), Hedges displays a fine voice on Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" and the Prince-penned "A Love Bizarre." Throughout this wide-ranging effort, Hedges' incredible right hand keeps perfect time in its role as sole accompaniment for the musician's vocal work and simultaneous soloing. Of course, Hedges' amazing technique frequently comes close to overtaking Live on the Double Planet, as tracks like "Because It's There" and "The Double Planet" sizzle technically. But these fret burnings are scattered around soft ballads that, with their kind earthiness, are unmistakably Hedges' own. Too passionate to simply file under new age, Hedges displays all his originality and fiery musicianship on this first-rate live offering.

Customer Reviews

How can I be the first person to review this album?

I caught on to Michael Hedges in 1990, just months AFTER he played my college's performing arts center. As a student, I could have seen him for FREE. Worse, two songs on this amazing album were recorded at that show. Am I kicking myself? Hard? Every day for nineteen years. If you appreciate really (by which I mean REALLY) fantastic musicianship in which the artist takes his or her instrument to levels previously unachieved by anyone else before them then you need to buy this in-frickin-credible album. NOW! Why this guy was classified as New Age escapes me. There is absolutely nothing of that sterile, soulless musical wallpaper quality to this man's work. It used to be you had to make a deal with the devil to be able to play this well. RIP, Mike. A lot of us you left behind really miss you.

This album needs to be in your collection - No Doubt!

I discovered Michael Hedges in 1984. At that time he (from my experience anyway) had not yet begun to share his vocal talents with us. Maybe to help with the question raised by AstrayButNotLost's review, this earlier album (and yes, I picked it up on vinyl and recorded it to cassette back then) in which I encountered the exquisit, rich, dramatic and magical talents of Michael's -- Aerial Boundaries -- was what no doubt qualified him in the "New Age" category. But it was rich and deep and nothing of the sterile, etc. qualities with which AstrayButNotLost characterizes New Age music -- which in its origins was more than that. It wasn't (embarassingly enough) until this year (2009) that a good friend introduced me to the gift of this most wonderful album of his -- bringing back a flood of appreciation and an accelerated new interest in his music. Truly, this is an album you need to have in your collection if you have any inclination whatsoever. It totally rocks, and it captures much of the spirit and personality with which Michael has given us. A couple of my faves: All Along the Watchtower and Woman of the World -- but believe me, Michael's reach is wide and deep. You'll love this album of work.

Biography

Born: December 31, 1953 in Sacramento, CA

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '80s, '90s

One of the most innovative and acclaimed solo guitarists of his era, self-described "violent acoustic" artist Michael Hedges rose to success on the strength of a unique performing style that utilized harmonics and picking to create the impression of multiple guitars playing simultaneously. Born in Sacramento, CA, in 1953, Hedges studied classical guitar while in college, subsequently earning a degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. In 1980, he enrolled in Stanford University's...
Full Bio