I can’t remember the last guitar record I loved as much as this one. I’ve been a huge Steve Gunn fan for ages, but only discovered Mike Cooper in recent years thanks to Room40 and haven’t been able to adequately explore his extensive back catalog yet. That’s all superfluous to how great Cantos de Lisboa is.
Acoustic guitar records have been done to death in the past decade, but Cooper and Gunn are so good that every inch of this record draws you in. So singular is their vision that deciphering who is playing what is not just impossible but utterly unimportant. Rich tones ring out and into your soul as Cooper howls “Saddle up my pony!” on “Pony Song.” Timeless music like this only comes along so often and on the entirety of Cantos, it’s clear that these two were meant to find one another. Gunn’s blues bleed into the modern world and are tempered by Cooper, who has seen it all. The combination is intoxicating and in the end we’re left with one of the year’s best albums. Huge recommendation.