J.P. Cormier,
Primary Color
(Tidemark, 2002)

Multi-Instrumentalist. Sideman. Innovator. Recording artist. Songwriter. Storyteller. Award winner.

His names are many, but underlying that is a young man with an old soul who has traveled the world for the past 18 years bringing a unique brand of joy to audiences wherever he goes. J.P. Cormier is a giant in his stature and a giant in the business. He has the heart of a poet and the soul of an ageless traveler who has seen both sides of the door that leads to success.

Cheticamp, Nova Scotia's musical son has just released his sixth major album to date, Primary Color. This collection of 16 guitar instrumental tunes will definitely blow away anyone who's a fan of guitar music. His lightning-fast fingers fly across the strings like nothing you've ever heard before. The instruments come alive in his hands and he makes it look and sound so effortless!

On his previous releases, J.P. has primarily played the fiddle, or provided lead vocals, with his guitar, mandolin and banjo playing in the background. But for anyone who has seen him in concert, you know that his guitar playing is always a crowd-pleaser. This album was created especially for those fans who have requested a guitar album for years. J.P. even lets you know in the liner notes the guitar he uses on each set of tunes.

With the exception of two tunes on this CD, the only place you would have heard them before is at a J.P. Cormier performance. As J.P. told the Halifax Herald, "This album tells a story, about the journey I've made learning to play the guitar ... for example, 'Lonesome Twelve' is the first thing I ever learned to play on the guitar."

J.P. began his musical ambitions at age 5. He's a self-taught guitarist and by age 9 he was a genuine prodigy, winning his first guitar competition against 30 other players three times his age (performing "Lonesome Twelve").

This album is a collection of tunes by some of his musical heroes, including Doc Watson, Glen Campbell, Jerry Reed, Jerry Holland and his biggest influence, Chet Atkins, to whom the album is also dedicated. "Both (Chet) and Waylon (Jennings) helped me 'get legal' in the United States, and I never forgot how they helped me out. Chet was a beautiful man, he had a very calming influence on other musicians. He was like a walking Valium."

Some of my favourite tunes on the CD are the Cape Breton tunes. Although you may be more familiar with these tunes being played on the fiddle, J.P. has the ability to transfer them to the guitar and give them the same performance quality.

As for the title of the CD, J.P. says "I have never understood the logical mechanics of music, instead I see music in colors and shapes and the feelings they inspire."

I'll leave you with these inspirational words from the master musician: "For all the young ones who are starting to play: If the Lord has given you the gift, always use it for his glory, and never take the credit. Some things may seem impossible for you to do right now, but I am living proof that all things are possible through Him."

[ by Kimberley Marie ]
Rambles: 7 September 2002