NPR logo Zachary Cale's Meditative Solo Guitar Sounds Like Twilight Fading

Zachary Cale's Meditative Solo Guitar Sounds Like Twilight Fading

Zachary Cale appears on the Driftless Instrumental I compilation alongside Megafortress, Hayden Pedigo, and Chris Votek. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Courtesy of the artist

Zachary Cale appears on the Driftless Instrumental I compilation alongside Megafortress, Hayden Pedigo, and Chris Votek.

Courtesy of the artist

Zachary Cale is a helluva guitar player, his understated picking patterns interweave like latticework, thrust through dusky production, whispering and lush strings and a Dylan-esque voice (which you won't find here).

Outside last year's Galicia EP, it's rare these days to hear Cale's guitar unadorned. But a new compilation from the artist-run Driftless Recordings features just that, a meditative guitar instrumental that twirls around Cale's fingers. Its somber melody sounds like twilight fading, just above the vault of the sky.

Cale's "Guitar" opens Driftless Instrumental I, a compilation with a few simple rules, according to label co-owner Patrick McDermott: "The piece is a solo performance, one take, with no overdubs and limited use of effects." The album also features works by Hayden Pedigo, Doug Keith (guitarist for Sharon Van Etten), Chris Votek (cellist for Julia Holter) and more.

Driftless Instrumental I comes out Sept. 22 via Driftless Recordings. Artist and track list below:

Zachary Cale, "Guitar"
Megafortress, "Saxophone"
Hayden Pedigo, "12 String Guitar"
Al Carlson, "Wurlitzer"
Chris Votek, "Cello"
Matt Kivel, "Guitar"
Andrew Abboushi, "Piano"
Doug Keith, "12 String Guitar"
North Americans, "Guitar"
Andrew Brady, "Piano"