The Geography of Nowhere
Label: Merge Records
With his second full-length, William Tyler further establishes himself as a striking new voice in instrumental guitar and progressive folk. John Fahey is, of course, a touchstone, but that's a no-brainer (like citing Bill Monroe when reviewing a bluegrass album). What distinguishes Tyler is his knack for shimmering sweetness and delicately plucked runs that dissolve into ambient haze; they're qualities that really come out on both "The Geography of Nowhere" and, later on, "The Last Residents of Westfall." He also employs touches of pedal steel that have a distinctly early-'70s feel.