Album Review of
A Garden Faire

Written by Robert Silverstein
January 13, 2021 - 1:02am EST
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Back in the middle of the 1960’s guitarist composer Jim Valley was performing and playing guitar as a member of pioneering AM radio rockers Paul Revere & The Raiders. Taking over the band’s lead guitar slot and following in the footsteps of the Raiders' original co-founding guitarist, the great Drake Levin, Jim stayed with the Raiders back in 1966 and '67 (he is pictured on the cover of their famous Spirit Of ‘67 album) and then left. So here we are in January 2021, decades after the band’s heyday and I’m listening to a 2021 solo album by Jim Valley called A Garden Faire. Essentially a New Age piano-based album, the 14-track CD features a mix of Jim’s timeless neoclassical instrumental music that is quite beguiling and blissed-out. Primarily focused on Jim’s acoustic piano and guitar work, A Garden Faire also spotlights contributions from co-producer and keyboardist Bruce Kurnow, along with arrangements from Jim Hoke, who also adds in a range of instruments, including bass, steel guitar and much more. Famed New Age musician Nancy Rumble also appears on a track. Track after track, the musical magic of A Garden Faire comes shining through. It’s all quite uplifting and clearly, with its meditative musical menagerie, Jim Valley’s A Garden Faire will leave the listener in a peaceful state of mind.