Monday Night Special: The Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour-"South Side" Denny
South Bend native, Denny Snyder, now a resident of Montreal, Canada returned to the area last November to perform in concert and record February’s episode of the Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour. (Broadcast on Monday, February 7th, at 9 p.m., on WVPE 88.1 FM.) Throughout the program, Denny illustrates his accomplished guitar skills – playing so pristinely that the music flows forth without any apparent effort.
Wild Rose Moon director, George Schricker, and the show’s host remarks: “Denny’s playing has matured and grown consistently more interesting. There’s a buttery sweetness to his playing on the acoustic guitar, whether he’s doing a driving primal blues, or something more rhapsodic. One minute he’s sounding polyrhythmic and tribal and the next he’s delicately picking an evocative bliss-filled instrumental – tunefully reassuring us using grace notes, brief slides, and harmonics to send out an intensely hopeful message. It’s clear he used the pandemic to perfect his technique on the acoustic guitar and his use of the instrument’s dynamics are just phenomenal.”
During the show, Denny performs four different compositions, the first, “Conscience Blues,” is suited to our times: You gotta have a conscience/to bring love into your life./You gotta have a conscience/to have peace in your heart./You gotta have a conscience/to transform all your fears./ You gotta have a conscience/to grow beyond your years. His second piece, “Snowflake,” is a transcendental paean to snow falling in space. Associate producer, Matt Scutchfield remarks:” The major key, gentle tempo, and tone of the guitar all lend to making this a perfect story, even with no words, or perhaps a soundtrack to a silent film inside your imagination.”
In his second set, Denny shares a tribute to 12-string guitar virtuoso, Leo Kottke, appropriately titled, “Blame it on Leo.” Using Kottke’s style of overlapping bass runs with streaming melodic drive, Denny churns similar textures while maintaining a remarkably soft touch on the strings. “Nothin Doin’,” an open-tuned instrumental, finishes the set with a steady rhythmic churn that swirls at times in tiny eddies of musical licks that never lose the song’s thematic drive. As per usual for the program, Denny’s work is immaculately captured by the audio engineering talents of Nate Butler, from Nimble Wit Studios in Goshen, Indiana.
Of special mention is the song, “Jump before the Fall,” from Plymouth native, Ryan Mear – played during the show’s break. Using an impassioned vocal delivery, and a guitar style inspired by Denny, he sings, a hard time that’s gonna test us all, gotta jump before the fall.
All in all, it’s an enjoyable and revealing listening experience on the Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour –A Home for Humans. All episodes are streamed and archived at wvpe.org. For more information on how you can get tickets to a live recording of the Wild Rose Moon Radio Hour, go to www.wildrosemoon.com and click on Get Tickets.