Songs Without Words
This album was named in 'Wind and Wire' as Number 6 on the Top Ten Guitar albums of 2003! The following review, written by Bernard Richter, recently appeared in the online music magazine 'Minor7th.com', a magazine devoted to guitar-oriented music. 'Songs Without Words' 2003 Veteran solo guitarist Johann Helton has just released a wonderful selection of homegrown acoustic guitar pieces. Helton's musical influences seem to come from classical, pop, and jazz. Many of the tracks offer impressive improvisational work, most recognizable on the Jazzy 'There's A Reason'. All eleven pieces feature strong melodic integrity. Also very noticeable is Helton's ability to achieve unique textures on many of these selections. 'Songs Without Words' marks a turning point for the artist: the album has only two solo guitar tracks as opposed to Helton's 2001 release of 'Where Mountains End and Clouds Begin' which was all solo work. 'Going Home', the opening track, begins with catchy set of progressions and then bridges into Helton's improvisations. The rest of the tunes showcase a host of different guitars and basses, all played by Helton himself. On 'Moroccan Roll' we find a fine mix of percussions, bass, and nylon-string guitar to produce a seductive, silky ethos. Helton's commitment to articulate every note and the fidelity of the engineering achieved on this album make for a very enjoyable listening experience. The album ends with Helton on steel-string. This acoustic/bass duo reflects Helton's appreciation for melody and his ability to create imaginative compositions.' © Bernard Richter.