The Gathering / West River Records
Imaginary Road Studios looks over The West River Valley in Windham County, Vermont, and when I was looking for a label name on which to release The Gathering, the new compilation of my recent productions, I decided that West River Records would be a great name for it. While I don’t plan to expand this to emulate Windham Hill in any way, I hope that I might eventually release another volume of The Gathering and use West River Records to re-release some of my own Windham Hill recordings that are now out of print.
I do hope you’ll give The Gathering a listen as I’m very proud of it. Here are a few excepts from recent reviews of The Gathering and a link to where you could purchase it.
All my best,
A "gathering" of fantastic talent all on one album
If one could perform the aural equivalent of a blind taste test on an astute listener of the compilation CD The Gathering, that person might guess that the album is a "newly discovered" collection of tracks from the archives of the pioneering instrumental label Windham Hill. If that same listener was informed that the tracks were selected and sequenced by none other than Will Ackerman himself (founder of Windham Hill in 1976), that same listener would probably exclaim "See! I told you so." However, that listener would be wrong. These are all tracks from independent artists, each of whom are recording and releasing on their own label. The album's uniting factor is that the estimable (I am tempted to call him "legendary" although that might imply he is either dead or retired) Ackerman produced or co-produced each song.
Bill Binkelman - Zone Music Reporter
A magnificent musical mansion
The depth and breadth of the music on The Gathering is astounding, as is the emotional range it evokes. While the variety of the music is impressive, Ackerman managed to select tracks which present a cohesive musical vision. Nothing here moves too quickly or lingers too long. If you have made the acquaintance of any of the Imaginary Road-recorded works (Todd Boston, Shambhu, Jeff Oster, Masako, Stanton Lanier, Paul Jensen et al), you know that Ackerman employs a group of stellar guest players including such luminaries as cellist Eugene Friesen, violinist Charlie Bisharat, vocalist Noah Wilding, bassist Manring, and English horn player Jill Haley, among many others. “The Gathering” draws to a poetically compelling conclusion with a lovely composition entitled “The Wheel” by none other than the maestro Ackerman himself, accompanied by violin, voice, drums, and bass. Will’s acoustic guitar playing is stunning in its tone, articulation, phrasing, and the way it sets the stage for the cream of the crop of his studio musicians to shine. This is surely one of the best compilations in the 30+ year history of this genre. And the price is right, especially considering the amount of music it contains. Ackerman stated that increased exposure for the artists is more important than profit, and I know you can resonate with that. A new generation of musicians produced by Will Ackerman ... this is dream material, on every level.
by Lloyd Barde, Music Editor, Common Ground Magazine
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