At one point in our interview James Blackshaw casually stated, "I wouldn't call myself a great guitar player." He is modest and a gentleman and he probably believes to some extent that next to John Fahey or Robbie Basho or Jack Rose the term "great" carries the weight of high expectations. However, James Blackshaw is an exceptional guitar player, and an increasingly interesting recording artist as well. He is intent exploring his love and adoration for contemporary composition or new music or minimalism or whatever you would like to call it, and in the process, is broadening the scope of the 12-string acoustic guitar. Which is why people who describe his music like to use terms like "orchestral" and "symphonic." In his guitar there is drone, sustain, a church organ, bells, harmony, dissonance, silence and I think I even heard human voices.