It had remained obvious that this guitarist has a great quality at the electric guitar, and in "A year closer" the influences change frequently. You only need to listen to the first track "Big fish rumba" (4:42) to realize that. Dave has been captivated by Paco de Lucía and he amazes everyone with a rumba that could have been signed by any major Spanish guitarist. 99% of the times that a foreigner tries to play flamenco, he fails immediately because that style is the heritage of a race that gives that little something to her music, something that isnt learnt from technique or at a music school (you can say it to Steve Howe about the introduction he made to Queens "Innuendo"). Well, Dave was able to give his music a whole Spanish spirit... and it must be said that he composed it in Nebraska!. On the second track, "All the kings men fears" (3:32), the influences come undeniably from Andalusia (blended Arab music with Spanish folklore), and he also got it right. The Spanish airs finish here and "A year closer" (3:47) begins. It is a beautiful and personal song full of changes and shades. He returns to Spanish music with "Malagueña" (5:08), a traditional Spanish song perfectly performed, with a lot of art and he even dedicates it to the fabulous guitarist Carlos Montoya. He is really marvellous and it is even more amazing when we realize that the tocaor is American. Not less impressive there is a rumba with one of the most strange titles that I have ever seen, "Shake it but dont break it (´cause if you bruise it I cant use it)" (5:07); it has a Mediterranean touch that reminds of the Catalan rumba or to that of French gipsies like Gypsy Kings. Then there is a moment for doing some jazz notes with "Jazz for dad" (3:28), with some excellent bass lines provided by Michael Olson and his tremendous guitar exhibitions. "Roses Garden" (3:34) is another nice personal theme that prepares the way for the short and a bit less exciting "Grace for mercy" (1:37), very close to new age. Fortunately, the attraction returns with "Joy" (3:45), a personal version of a theme by Bach; it is tremendously moving and perfectly performed with two guitars, bass and percussion. There is no doubt, this is the best part in the whole album. It closes with "A simple prayer" (3:30), a very sad but captivating melody.
Well, this is "A year closer", an honest CD by that man who has become one of my favourite guitarists. As you might have seen on this critic, this is not a progressive rock album, but we, the progheads, like beauty and this is a very beautiful record that should not be missed. Ah!, and as I told you in the critic of "Clear the tracks", if you play the guitar, this CD must be a compulsory acquisition because it is a whole method of how to play Spanish guitar. As for the Spanish music, I believe that it is a flattery for Dave that a Spanish critic thinks that he has the enough art to perform flamenco concerts.