Janet Feder

With an extensive background in classical and prepared guitar, Janet Feder has focused primarily on instrumental recordings. But on her latest effort, the aptly titled Songs With Words, Feder sings on most of the tracks, and her voice sounds stunning throughout, particularly on cuts like "O the Sky Falling Moment" and her take on "Blowin' in the Wind," which she plays in a minor key, making it darker and more in tune with Bob Dylan's lyrics. Feder's guitar playing is especially captivating here. Using a number of guitars, including a custom-made baritone classical guitar, she prepares some of the strings with metal objects such as split rings (which are often used for key rings) while leaving other strings unprepared, making for a fascinating dynamic. Since the album was recorded in surround sound using fifteen microphones, it's exquisite when listened to through headphones or on a surround system.

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