A couple of years ago I first saw Raul Midon when he was on Letterman. I had no idea who he was. But that night he exploded out of my TV. The musicianship on display that evening more than impressed. I bought his CD "State of Mind" the next day. State of Mind was terrific, what a powerful first impression. Sometimes though first impressions leave such an indelible mark that anything subsequent has a hard time living up to the standard they set.
Raul Midon's new release not only lives up to the expectations and promises setup by his last album, it surpasses them.
A World Within A World is jazzier, funkier, smoother and more soulful than it's predecessor. It's also a bit more polished in a manner that causes it to feel more fully fleshed out.
His guitar playing is in a word, stellar. A handful of people can consistently delight the senses with an acoustic guitar the way Raul does. On a couple of tunes his playing puts one in a mind of Django Reinhardt.
The playing and singing is enchanting. You want to become hypnotized by it's charm and drift off into space. However the intricacy of the playing and the songs demand attention. What at first might seem simple unwinds and reveals itself more and more with repeated listening.
"A World Within a World." makes good on the promise of "State of Mind," perhaps tenfold. One can only hope that he continues down this path and creates wonderful music we can enjoy for many years to come.