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Originally released back in 2003, it’s refreshing to hear an album where the focus is the guitar, but the end result is more about substance, mood, and melody, rather than flash. Martin Barre is one of rock’s greatest treasures, being a part of Jethro Tull since the late 60’s up to the present, the guitarist has recorded a few solo albums over the years, Stage Left being his third and perhaps most enjoyable.

There’s a welcome mix of rugged hard rock, blues, intricate acoustic, and medieval folk numbers here, all played with the fire and charm that have made Barre one of the most popular axe players of all time.

Joining Martin on this album are two Tull bandmates Andy Giddings on keyboards and Jonathan Noyce on bass, along with drummer Darren Mooney (Gary Moore, Primal Scream.) It’s obvious that they all had a blast recording this album, as there is a sense of looseness and fun to all the 14 tracks. The CD booklet is a real treat as well, as it breaks down each song and tells the listener what guitar Martin used for each song, much like Steve Howe used to do on his releases.

A wonderful album-check it out!