Classical guitarist, Ben Gateno, releases “A Time When Things Were New”, a 19-track album of early twentieth century solo guitar pieces .
This album is a collection of solo guitar music specifically from 1920s in the genres of classical, blues/ragtime, jazz, and slide. While Gateno is trained as a classical guitarist, he also plays a lot of fingerstyle country blues. He originally conceptualized the project as the perfect way to explore and expand his versatility.
In order to complete the project, he transcribed the non-classical music from the original 78 rpm recordings of artists like Manual Ponce, Arther Blind Blake, Eddie Lang, and Nick Lucas.
The result is an incredible musical survey of the periods music, cutting across multiple genres, and executed expertly by Gateno on the guitar. The album captures so many facets of the period: the optimistic ragtime numbers, the dark and mysterious classical guitar compositions, and early-tradition blues.
A favorite track from the album is “Guitar Chimes”, which is (perhaps unintuitively) a blues:
Where To Listen
- Maxixe (2:50)
- Nocturno (3:56)
- Homenaje pour le tombeau de Claude Debussy (3:21)
- Sonata Mexicana: I. Allegro moderato (4:31)
- Sonata Mexicana: II. Andantino affettuoso (4:43)
- Sonata Mexicana: III. Allegretto in tempo di serenata (1:22)
- Sonata Mexicana: IV. Allegretto un poco vivace (3:45)
- Guitar Chimes (3:15)
- Blind Arthur’s Breakdown (3:14)
- Blues in G (3:15)
- To Do This, You Got to Know How (3:27)
- April Kisses (3:42)
- A Little Love, A Little Kiss (3:32)
- Teasing the Frets (3:32)
- Picking the Guitar (3:08)
- Guitar Blues (3:37)
- Guitar Rag (2:52)
- You Got to Reap What You Sow (3:51)
- Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (4:40)
About the Artist
Ben Gateno is a formally trained with master’s and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music. In 2005-06 he Ben studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Brussels, Belgium with renowned guitarist Antigoni Goni. From 2009-2014 Ben was a member of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. A versatile musician, Ben also plays much pre-war acoustic blues and ragtime music, and has an instrumental heavy metal project with fellow guitarist Corey Harvin under the name Zen Arrows. Ben currently lives, teaches, and performs music in Rochester, MN.
Learn more at bengateno.com >>