Before vinyl was cool and was simply one of the normal mediums on which records could be bought, I remember picking up a lovely debut album by a band called The Innocence Mission, an album of grace and subtle pleasures that has stood the test of time. Don and Karen Peris, the husband and wife team that are the core of the band, continued to grow their body of work to the tune of 10 albums not to mention several EPs. As if that were not enough, Don has also released four albums of guitar-oriented pieces that are almost exclusively instrumental. The music is by turns melancholic, nostalgic, elegiac, and hopeful, but always remains inviting thanks to the rich and warm sound of the guitars and his fine melodic instincts.
In his web bio, Don has this to say about his background and approach: “I studied classical guitar in college and have spent the subsequent years enamored with the poetic voice of this humble instrument. I also love the atmospheric tone that can be created by the electric guitar. I use a 1954 Gretsch Electromatic hollow-body, a Gretsch 6120, a numerous assortment of 60’s Guild nylon-stringed guitars, my 70’s Guild D44 steel string, a noisy Princeton Reverb amp and a recycled 3/4 size student cello.”
Here is a set that Don put together on Soundcloud featuring three of his pieces, two from the most recent album, “The Old Century” and one from the 2006 release “Go When the Morning Shineth”. It certainly makes for some wonderful listening on a Sunday afternoon.