The guitar has been an inseparable part of Ostlund’s life from the age of 13 years. Now a top guitarist and keyboardist, he has played with a number of different bands and has his own recording studio where he functions as musician, producer and sound engineer. His guitar collection played on this SACD is astounding: In the electrics he has Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters, Danelectro 6 & 12-string, Levin & Gretsch. In acoustic instruments: Guild, Washburn, Gibson 12-string, Mandolin, Ukulele, Portuguese 12-string. Ostlund also is heard on Fender Rhodes and piano.
This is a rather different genre for Opus 3. No hints of Swedish folk music here. It struck me as similar to some of the solo guitar and mandolin recordings from David Grisman’s Acoustic Disc label. All 14 tracks are originals by “East,” and they cover a variety of moods but all are fairly straightforward tunes with a directness and lack of pretense. A slight influence of the Ventures or Beach Boys might be heard in tunes such as Calm Beach or Cafe Oasis. Au Revoir touches on a bit of gypsy jazz. The notes for each track list the various instruments East uses, in the order in which they are heard, and guitar aficionados will have fun identifying the sounds. This is a 4.1-channel recording, with frequencies below 60 Hz directed to the LFE .1 channel, so the accompanying instruments benefit from subwoofer assistance if you have one. The instruments are spread around the listener so it feels as though you are right in the studio with the performers.
– John Henry