Monday, December 28, 2015

Craig Dobbins - The View From Here, a PopJunkie album review

If there is power in understatement, than Craig Dobbins’ masterful The View From Here, is easily one of 2015’s most powerful instrumental albums. With nary a superfluous note to be found within its runtime, The View From Here is an unhurried, almost casual listen that relies more on melodies that sink in with every repeat playing rather then technical pyrotechnics designed to dazzle on first listen but diminish soon after.

The album manages to do what many all-instrumental affairs can not; take its listeners on a journey, the same way that the finest voice-led albums can. Starting with the charming Jojobean, the album builds over the course of its story. Many of the songs are comprised of solo nylon-string guitar but at various points, electric guitars, steel-string acoustic guitars, violin and other acoustic instruments provide a gentle bed of sound that helps propel the songs along their intended path.  

After years of teaching others the intricacies of finger-style guitar - Dobbins is acknowledged as an expert on the styles of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed - Dobbins focused on his own muse and produced the finest album of his career and easily one of the best instrumental guitar albums of 2015.

The View From Here is also available in a highly recommended deluxe edition containing a book of photos and guitar transcriptions of every song on the album for those fleet-fingered pickers who want to tackle playing these tunes. No easy feat!

For more on Craig Dobbins, visit