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CD REVIEWS

CONCERT AT ST. OLAF COLLEGE

Bob Boilen, Director, All Things Considered / National Public Radio
"Michael Gulezian doesn't write tunes you can take away and hum. What I experience listening to his music is stories - not stories with words, but an exquisite web of tales that only notes can tell. ... the CD also contains video of the concert - it's just amazing to watch him perform."
(click here to stream the NPR webcast)

PsychedelicFolk.com
"A perfect live album ... such a degree of emotional power and intensity ... [you] forget that this is a reality expressed by only one guitar."

Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Public radio favorite Michael Gulezian's latest CD is the dazzling Concert at St. Olaf College, recorded in Northfield. Gulezian always has had strong ties to Minnesota and its guitar innovators, from world-rockin' Steve Tibbetts to bluesy Peter Lang. Yet he ranges far beyond folk, playing hard-driving music that recalls Leo Kottke and the late Michael Hedges, who called him "my kindred spirit."

Kennebec Journal
"... acoustic guitar wizardry ... brings visions of another "Michael" to mind - Michael Hedges, in whose memory this release is dedicated. This 50-minute CD is nothing short of stunning. The nine tracks of "Concert ..." are made up of seven original compositions with two covers, Leo Kottke's "Watermelon" (another guitarist with whom Gulezian shares common ground), and a lush, sumptuous arrangement of J.S. Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" ... as powerful on the acoustic guitar as it is with full orchestra and choir. ... be prepared to be amazed."

Raleigh-Durham News & Observer
"innovative fretwork ... virtuosic, other-worldly, oddly tuned acoustic guitar fireworks ... a percussive style that creates sonic landscapes so vivid you can practically touch 'em."

The Aspen Times
"... infused with devotion to music's power ... Gulezian's solo guitar work is inventive and complex; he melds rhythm, melody and harmony using just one instrument and 10 fingers. The trick is making such music something more than a mere exercise in technique, and in this concert from Minnesota's St. Olaf College, Gulezian clears that hurdle with room to spare."


LANGUAGE OF THE FLAME

Acoustic Guitar Magazine
"Gulezian rips ... but for all his virtuosic ferocity, he never loses sight of the melody or the drama of his compositions. And he can still play sweetly ... At this stage in his career, Gulezian doesn't need to prove he can play, he just needs more people to hear his expansive and original sound."

MUZE Reviews
"[Gulezian's place is] among the pantheon of greats including Leo Kottke, Robbie Basho, and John Fahey. ... stunningly beautiful. All the songs on Language of the Flame mesh together effortlessly, forming a completely resonant singularity, not merely a solo finger-picking record." (read complete review)

Accent on Music
"Some folks think of Michael Gulezian as the heir to the Michael Hedges approach to acoustic guitar ... Gulezian won't disappoint those folks with this gripping CD." (read complete review)

Music Web Express 3000
"... skillful and mature ... With the release of Language Of The Flame, Gulezian takes his place among the great acoustic guitar innovators of the 20th Century. ... mind-boggling ... startling" (read complete review)

Rambles Cultural Arts Magazine
"Language of the Flame brings solo acoustic guitar to new levels, defying categorization and inventing style. Michael Gulezian draws on a rich and varied heritage of musical influences to create a challenging sound ... a bright and innovative light ... [Gulezian's] music speaks a complex, intelligent and intricate language." (read complete review)

Minor 7th.com
"... fully mesmerized by the array of different layers of sonority ... the metaphor of night, set against the figure of a dancing flame, seems one way of describing the type of musical architecture Gulezain has created ... There is in the beauty of Gulezian's work a kind of invisible smiling face, a joyful set of eyes winking back at us..." (read complete review)

Bridge Reviews
"... a master in open tunings. ... gorgeous ... profound ... guitar music imbued with mystical, spiritual essence. ... Gulezian is an outstanding acoustic guitarist." (read complete review)

Cornell Daily Sun
"There are musical epiphanies only the most talented artists can bestow upon an audience, and on Language of the Flame, these moments are remarkably frequent."



THE DARE OF AN ANGEL

Jazz Times
"... an uncommonly thoughtful and provocative work. The technical wizardry here is tremendous. ... sweeping story-like melodies, multi-dimensional epics, and heartland hymns. Gulezian puts forth a smart, uplifting album which is not to be missed." (read complete review)

Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine
"[Gulezian's music] meets and exceeds anything being offered by the 'real' industry ... [what] people expected from Michael Hedges after Aerial Boundaries ..."

Dirty Linen
"(Gulezian's) elegant embellishments and imaginative compositional tracings confound such facile labels as minimalism. ... messes with space and time in ways [French composer] Erik Satie could only dream of. ... succeeds in bringing a starry sky down to the canyon floor." (read complete review)

Victory Review
"Gulezian's compositions build bridges of sound that lift us to a higher, brighter place. Acoustic musicians will delight in the rich tones and powerful mastery of the twelve-string guitar ..." (read complete review)

Acoustic Guitar Magazine
"... echoes of Michael Hedges ... imaginative, adventuresome, and non-traditional."

Twin Cities Reader
"... deserves to find a ready audience among fans of Leo Kottke, John Fahey, and Adrian Legg. ... a superbly recorded and engineered set ..." (read complete review)

Music Design in Review
"An acoustic musical experience never sounded better ... Gulezian's completely unplugged music is miles and miles away from so much techno-pop and electrical gimmickry ... a real physical effort to produce beautiful music ... extraordinary ..."

The Music Paper
"... downright gorgeous"



DISTANT MEMORIES AND DREAMS

CD Review (awarded four stars, and named Runner-up Disc of the Year)
"Eastern rhythms, with the open space of the American heartland. ... a sound that's somewhere between classical chamber music and Pink Floyd. ...there's no doubt in the permeating lyricism of (Gulezian's) songs and the gorgeous settings of guitar / piano duets and world chamber ensembles in which he places them." (read complete review)

Jazziz Magazine
"Like Bela Fleck, Gulezian has a knack for combining earthy folk techniques with contemporary Jazz harmonies and exotic influences - only his approach remains entirely acoustic. ... a wondrous sense of lyricism ... unforgettable." (read complete review)

Acoustic Guitar Magazine
"... absolutely first rate ... Gulezian's guitars sound big, deep, and full. ethereal twelve-string ... spacey, sliding bottleneck ... superb percussion ... strongly echoes some of Kottke's better work ... a recording that is exceptionally rich in tone color and three-dimensional atmosphere .... superb. (read complete review)

Jazz Times
"Michael Gulezian stirs up hauntingly primeval shards of cosmic consciousness in Distant Memories and Dreams..." (read complete review)



UNSPOKEN INTENTIONS

Guitar Player Magazine
"This is a record that immediately dates many guitar players. It puts many pretentious record raters and imitators of older guitar players in their proper place as hacks and plagiarists. It is a strikingly original record. It is an epoch-breaking record ..." (read complete article)

High Fidelity
"... this may well be the best solo guitar album since Leo Kottke's justly renowned first effort, Six and Twelve String Guitar." (read complete article)

Dirty Linen
"Gulezian [gives] voice to a playfully innocent sensual spirituality on fretted steel-string guitar. The mystery ... rests on how this unassuming kid could so gracefully integrate America's regional acoustic guitar traditions into such a sonically free and harmonically fresh sound." (read complete article)

MusicEmporium.net (Belgium)
"Stunning album by acoustic six- and twelve-string wizard; highly recommended if you're into Renbourn, Graham, Fahey, Basho, Kottke. Wonderful playing here, with flash and depth, technique and soul. This CD will knock you out."

Tower Pulse!
"Gulezian is a blazing finger-style player who emerges from John Fahey and Leo Kottke's marriage of folk and blues to classical, finger-style technique ..." (read complete article)


CONCERT REVIEWS

Los Angeles Herald Examiner
"... a charming, unpretentious guitarist ... he succeeded in commanding the attention of a restless Roxy crowd with nothing but an acoustic guitar."

St. Olaf College Manitou Messenger (review #1)
"Irony was absent as Michael Gulezian took the stage for an expectant and packed Lion's Pause last Saturday night. Gulezian's unassuming and almost timid gait was greeted with a rupture of applause from a crowd that he himself has generated ..." (read complete review)

Variety
"...witty and personable ... Gulezian does masterfully complex things on the twelve-string guitar [and ] spins some delightful stories ..."

The Record Courier
"Geniuses often come in the form of eccentric musicians, and guitarist Michael Gulezian is no exception. I don't think anyone else knew what to expect, but whatever the expectations, they were blown away ... a powerful set ... a gifted guitarist ... a master storyteller ..." (read complete review)

St. Olaf College Manitou Messenger (review #2)
"Michael Gulezian has never been shy about saying exactly what he thinks about St. Olaf. Saturday night, students repaid the compliment by showing up 604 strong in the Pause for his performance. "This is my favorite place to play in the whole world," Gulezian said. "Period."

"Everywhere else, he's just a guy," said Alex Memmen, a former St. Olaf student and senior at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Memmen returned to Northfield just for Gulezian's show. "Here, he's a rock star."

Gulezian began the concert asking for 60 seconds of silence; "We obviously live in a world that could use some heart and soul and love and tolerance." He bowed his head for a minute, then broke into "Mile High Country"... Guitar wizardry ... dramatic, chaotic ... magical ..."

Syracuse Post Standard
"A guitar player's guitar player, capable of masterly technical virtuosity ... But Gulezian the instrumentalist is also something of an offbeat comic, displaying a disarming stage manner and a keen, understated sense of humor ..." (read complete review)

John Diliberto, Producer/Host, NPR's ECHOES LIVING ROOM CONCERTS
"Michael Gulezian is a thoroughly modern finger-style player ... Since the early days of Echoes, Michael Gulezian has dazzled us with his albums; he dazzled us even more when he sat down at the Echoes Living Room Concerts for live renditions of his music ..."

St. Olaf College Manitou Messenger (review #3)
"Nearly 500 people filled the Pause Saturday night to experience the artistry and quirkiness of Michael Gulezian. Not only did Gulezian perform his traditional concert, he also offered a guitar workshop on Thursday night and brought yet another gift to St. Olaf this year ..." (read complete review)

Iowa State University Daily (review #1)
"Gulezian delivered ... more than any reasonable person would have expected. It was a thoroughly engaging three-hour concert. ... deeply emotional and technically astute playing. ... an evening of superb guitar music - plus the intangible excitement a fine live show brings." (read complete review)

Frostburg State University Bottom Line
"Gulezian emitted an instrumental ability unseen ever before by this reviewer. ... pushed the instrument to amazing and uncharted limits." (read complete review)

Iowa State University Daily (review #2)
"When Michael Gulezian plays the guitar, it is with the skill and care of a man who knows and loves what he is doing. Gulezian didn't just play the six- and twelve-string guitars Thursday night - he related stories (good ones), told jokes (bad ones), and made lots of friends ..." (read complete review)

MSU Reporter
Michael Gulezian, a quirky thirty-something acoustic guitar player with incredible technical prowess and emotional range, played the Indigo last night. The production, sponsored by the Flip-Side Committee of the Impact Team, attracted well over 150 curious concert goers. Gulezian did not disappoint. (read complete review)

Oklahoma State University O'Collegian
"The Starlite Terrace hosted one of the most splendid shows ever, a concert by acoustic guitarist Michael Gulezian at the Student Union. ... a musical delight. ... the concert was a hit, proving to be a feast for the ears." (read complete review)

Penn State University Daily Collegian
"Gulezian overwhelmed students with his profound music ... a style that is original and provocative ..."


loose talk

"A great guitarist. My kindred spirit."
- Michael Hedges

"Better than the best of the best of the best ... uber ninja."
- Andy McKee

"... I wish there was a video component to what we do because Michael positively dances with the guitar, if one can do that sitting down. ... incredible spiritual relationship with his instrument. A great discovery."
- David Dye, WXPN / National Public Radio's WORLD CAFE

"If I could play guitar the way Michael Gulezian does, I would just sit in front of a mirror and watch myself do it."
- Garrison Keillor, on A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

"... a formidable player ..."
- Tom Surowicz, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"The name Gulezian ... is synonymous with ingenuity and mastership. Michael Gulezian uses his guitar as a medium to pour out his soul. Every note that comes from Gulezian transgresses our indoctrinated notions of what music is and what music does ... name the un-nameable and communicate the unknowable."
- David Stanton and Brenna Rausch, Staff Writers, The Manitou Messenger, ST. OLAF COLLEGE

"... a one-man guitar orchestra. A brilliant guitarist, a sensitive and soulful vocalist. And ... he's hysterically funny."
- Terry Meyer, Programming Director, BIG TOP CHAUTAUQUA

"... one of the most amazing acoustic guitarists on earth. Michael Gulezian puts his entire heart and soul, his entire being, into every song he does live. He just goes all out on every song ... incredible passion, and unbelievable technical skill."
- Dore Stein, Producer/Host, TANGENTS MUSIC RADIO

"Michael Gulezian is the AntiChet."
- Tim Sparks

"Total virtuoso ... [If] you saw Michael Gulezian open for Shawn Colvin this summer ... you know he is one slick acoustic guitarist. Great music ..."
- Dan Nailen, Music Critic, THE SALT LAKE CITY TRIBUNE

"If the Rocky Mountains had a soundtrack, Michael Gulezian would compose it."
- Matthew Lester, Contributing Writer, The Baylor Lariat - BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

"Michael is a stunning guitar player ..."
- Ken Heffner, Director of Student Activities / Concert Programmer, CALVIN COLLEGE

"Michael Gulezian's music is a wonderful representation of the man who plays it - playful, reflective, and deeply engaging."
- Kyle Dyas, Music Director, KUNC-FM (NPR / Community Radio for Northern Colorado)

"... one of the most respected (if unknown) jazz-folk instrumentalists in the country. Gulezian, who is Armenian-American, brings a touch of Eastern exotica to his John Fahey-influenced picking, embracing the tactile excitement of virtuoso playing and the richer spirituality of New Age."
- Noel Murray, Critics Picks, NASHVILLE SCENE

"Quite simply, Michael Gulezian is the reason this series was created."
- John Harlow, Director, HUB Late Night / Gallery Music Series, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

"Virtuoso guitarist Michael Gulezian has boosters both national (a clever, glowing quote from Garrison Keillor seems to follow him wherever he goes) and local (WXDU's 'New Frontiers' show has given him a lot of airplay). His inventive yet always melodic playing is worthy of that kind of devotion and has earned him same-breath mention alongside the likes of John Fahey, Leo Kottke, and Michael Hedges. "
- Rick Cornell, Music Critic, THE DURHAM INDEPENDENT

"One of the most dazzling solo acoustic guitarists in the world today ... To see Gulezian alone on stage with his guitar is to watch a master at work.."
- Wallace Baine, Entertainment Editor, SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL

"Michael Gulezian plays guitar the way Salvador Dali painted."
- Roger Clodfelter, Asst. Dean of Students, HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY

"One of the hidden treasures on the fall lineup ... Michael Gulezian's last visit to campus found him playing a generous three-and-one-half hour set that left an enthusiastic audience on its feet. The down-to-earth sensibilities of his lyrics involve his audience, and his frenetic fingerwork, coupled with a liberal dose of harmonics, makes his guitar sound like two or three players in perfect synchronicity with each other."
- Pat McDonough, Contributing Writer, Old Gold and Black, WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY

"... his giddy sense of humor, his passion and sincerity - it all leaves you wanting more. You can't help but love Michael Gulezian."
- Julie Amacher, National Music Host, MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO


campus performance report quotes

"Listening to Michael play helps you re-discover your soul. Michael is simply the finest acoustic guitarist. The students here would lynch us if we failed to bring him back."
NORTHLAND COLLEGE

"The sounds from Michael's guitar transported the entire audience to a state somewhere between Heaven and Maine."
UNIVERSITY OF MAINE at ORONO

"... breathtaking, complex, and beautiful. ...a terrific performer. Audience members clutched their sides as he composed an improvisational piece around their laughter."
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS COLLEGE

"... truly gifted. ... an absolute must-have performer for any coffeehouse-type program."
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA at WILMINGTON

"... a phenomenal guitarist. His wit and love for life are displayed throughout his art, both verbally and musically."
CHRISTIAN BROTHERS UNIVERSITY

"The combination of Michael's good humor, deep sincerity and incredible guitar playing took the audience on an emotional roller coaster. We began in community laughter and ended in reflective silence."
DRURY UNIVERSITY

"The reason the event was successful was his ability to build a relationship with every person in the room. During the two-hour set almost no one left - that isn't normal. Attendance 600-700, and there were three standing ovations."
ST. OLAF COLLEGE

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