There is a wonderful grainy texture to Tommy Halferty’s guitar, a doughty, garbled toughness that can in a breath slide into the tender and the plaintive, and Spree the opening track here combines all such tones and templates in one tune.
Station Midi, the title track, is a wonderfully supple exercise, the guitar swimming usefully against the mounting tide of Halferty’s accomplices, Kevin Brady on those loquacious drums, the bass of Dave Redmond the perfect piece of wood for Halferty to lean his axe against. Relic is meandering and a tad wistful at the start, before becoming an elusive, mood-changing thing, an opaque blues vehicle.
While there are obvious hints of Pat Metheny - presumably a big influence on the Irish guitarist’s lengthy career – Halferty has his own schtick as evidenced through these intriguing 10 tracks, which bow at times to blues-rock roots, on pieces like Gingerbread Boy. Meanwhile, Ralph's Piano Waltz is very definitely at the lighter end of fusion, opening like a fountain on a summer's day. It's a winsome thing with a barely noticable tincture of the spirit of bossa nova, or at least something from Brazil. Kish, on the other hand, is entrancing and calmly negotiated.
It's a highly variegated project, with light and shade and different approaches. Ode to the Ageing Rocker, as you might expect could fit perfectly on an album from an early 70s prog ensemble. For something from a more venerable tradition, I Remember You canters along blithely like Wes Montgomery.
Station Midi shows yet again that Tommy Halferty his own rugged, yet sensitive art with hands and strings and pick-ups and he has two great pals in the venture. Listen, if you listen to two tracks only, to Kish and Relic, as the revered guitarist works a vein of deep imaginative poetry, a sense of trance and meditation hovering around the tunes.