The winds of change are upon us and while possessing the power of destruction, wind can also purify, refresh and foster renewal. It’s the latter that world music guitarist Lawson Rollins had in mind when composing “With the Wind,” the second single from the recently released “True North” album, a collection that the Billboard chart-topper wrote and produced marking his 20th anniversary as a recording artist.
“‘With the Wind’ is an expression of energetic joyfulness. The song emerged out of improvisation - as songs often do for me - so the inspiration was spontaneous and enigmatic as the music flowed naturally, like the steady force of the wind,” said the San Francisco-based Rollins who was named by Guitar Player magazine as one of the “50 Transcedent Acoustic Guitarists” of all-time.
Named by Jazziz magazine as one of the “10 Albums You Need to Know,” “True North” displays familiar Rollins’ hallmarks while introducing new and different elements. His prodigious fingerstyle guitar work remains the focal point of the tracks that stylistically serve a melange of contemporary jazz, world music, Latin and New Age sounds. On this outing, Rollins expands his repertoire by playing electric and slide guitars and steel string guitar alongside his signature classical Spanish nylon string acoustic guitar. He also adds textured synthesizer swatches. Known for embarking on lengthy improvisational explorations, Rollins keeps the tracks tightly focused on “True North,” exhibiting discipline and control.
Exotic travel and exhilarating adventure have long been Rollins’ primary thematic subjects, however, as pictured on the album cover and accompanying photography in the CD packaging, “True North” derives much of it’s geographic inspiration from a more familiar locale: Rollins’ favorite vacation spot on the Outer Banks in his home state of North Carolina.