Michael’s groundbreaking solo guitar debut, recorded live to 2-track, with no overdubs. “Wistful, soulfully probing tone-poems…” (Boston Globe), some with accompaniment by George Winston (piano) and Michael Manring (fretless bass). “Hedges’ clean execution and impeccable taste make this a very engaging work” (Guitar Player).
Behind the Album
In early 1981, Hedges signed a record deal with Windham Hill Records, a young start-up label focused on instrumental music, based in Palo Alto, California.
When the label’s founder Will Ackerman saw Hedges perform at The New Varsity Theater, he signed Hedges on the spot. Released in October 1981, Breakfast in the Field was the culmination of Michael’s early guitar solos written during the previous eight years.
Several tracks include the masterful fretless bass work of Michael Manring; and pianist George Winston joined Hedges and Manring on the ensemble piece “Lenono.”
The music from Breakfast in the Field was primarily written in Enid, Oklahoma and Baltimore, Maryland during Hedges’ music studies at Phillips University and the Peabody Conservatory.
The album established Hedges as an innovative and kinetic guitarist-composer.
Words by Jake White, biographer Photo credit: unknown
Layover 2. The Happy Couple 3. Eleven Small Roaches 4. The Funky Avocado ¹ 5. Baby Toes ¹ 6. Breakfast in the Field 7. Two Days Old ¹ 8. Peg-Leg Speed King 9. The Unexpected Visitor 10. Silent Anticipations 11. Lenono ¹ ²
Performances by: Michael Hedges: acoustic guitar Michael Manring: fretless bass ¹ George Winston: piano ²
All compositions by Michael Hedges. Produced by Will Ackerman. Recorded at The Music Annex, Menlo Park, CA.
“This is an essential recording for any guitarist, lover of acoustic music or Windham Hill.”
Michael Hedges on his songwriting approach to “Funky Avocado” at a 1987 concert “This tune has a little bit of a cross cultural bent to it, but it has more of an American bent to it. From the time where I lived above a health food store just down the street from a gay disco called The Pink Hippopotamus. I used to be trying to write music up there, trying to… maybe it would be just after dinner and I’d be trying to get some work done, and The Pink Hippo was always sending me back ‘boom boom boom’ and maybe the bass line would come through, ‘bum Bum BUM bum Bum BUM,’ so rather than trying to compete with it, I decided to try to incorporate some of the elements. So that’s how ‘The Funky Avocado’ came about. It starts out with a medium R&B tempo, slows down into some heavy rock and it finishes up in a fit of disco fury”.
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