Album Review of
Strings for a Season

Written by Robert Silverstein
December 13, 2020 - 3:00pm EST
Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star

Chicago-based acoustic guitar ace Richard Gilewitz is well-regarded in the guitar world, with one of the highlights of his decades long career being an album of Christmas holiday classics that he arranged for guitar, cello, violin, mandolin, banjo and piano. Inspired by Stephen Siktberg’s Mel Bay book, Christmas Music For Acoustic Guitar and John Fahey’s popular Christmas albums and released way back in 2008 CD, the 15-track release of Strings For A Season is still very much worth checking out. Reflecting back upon Richard’s holiday album, Strings For A Season fuses together the Richard Gilewitz style of classically-inspired Baroque guitar, imbued with a fondness for the “American Primitive” style of acoustic guitar playing made popular in the 1960s by guitar giant John Fahey. In support of his guitar-inspired vision of these Yuletide classics, Gilewitz surrounded himself with top players, including fellow guitarist Tim May (resophonic guitar) and the album’s engineer / mixer Tim Roberts. On Strings For A Season, Richard really gets into his acoustic performances of holiday favorites like “O, Holy Night”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “We Three Kings Of Orient Are” and many others. Richard Gilewitz is renowned for his live concerts and his mastery of the 6 and 12 string acoustic guitar translates quite nicely on his evergreen Christmas classic Strings For A Season. Speaking to Richard about this album again recently he told me, "The arrangements were done with the cello's and other instruments by myself and Tim May. Gretchen Priest May nailed  the violin  on "O Holy  Night."  In the years that followed, Richard moved on to even further guitar greatness with various albums, including Tasmania Live (2011) and his 2019 album, recorded with Tim May, called Sharky. Adversely impacted by the lack of gigs during the 2020 pandemic, like many performing artists worldwide, Richard Gilewitz is keeping busy thanks to his online guitar instruction courses that you can find on the Truefire website and on another front, guitar students looking to learn from the best can contact Richard for online lessons directly from his website.