Alex Houghton
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Alex Houghton

Band Folk Acoustic

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Canadian guitarist Alex Houghton's fourth offering, "More Love," is a collection of ten passionate finger-styled instrumentals. A relative new comer to the guitar, Houghton did not take up the instrument seriously until her early twenties. Making up for lost time she fervently studied composition from Carlton and the Ottawa Universities, developing a remarkable proficiency on her instrument. For "More Love," the artist uses a variety of musicians to form rich musical landscapes, resulting in an alluring tapestry of gorgeous tone poems. Houghton has an extraordinary gift for composition. The scope of her musical influences is expansive, ranging from folk, classical, jazz and modern. The strength of this recording lies in her innate ability to creatively integrate these diverse styles into cohesive musical narratives. For the opener, "For Harriet," lush strings accentuate the beautiful melody of this tender ballad. On the jazz inspired "Wynn's Bounce," Kevin Turcotte's supportive trumpet adds interesting melodic textures, while the guitarist eloquently swings with her working rhythm section. Perhaps the most ambitious performance on this recording is the dramatic "Toxicodendron," where Houghton explores minimalist motifs reminiscent of the seminal works of German composer, Steve Reich. The closing solo piece and title tract, "More Love," is an eloquent and introspective ballad, highlighting Houghton's rich musical and emotional vocabulary. "More Love" is an album of exceptional instrumental compositions, all brilliantly conceived and performed, and is highly recommended for any fan of beautiful music. 
© James Scott - Minor 7th


The last album “Happybody” released in 2002 by Alex Houghton
is an awesome piece of art which got a lot of critical acclaim by
her fans and the press. Alex Houghton is a Canadian acoustic
guitarist and composer, her pennings draw from a very wide
perspective, with influences coming from as well jazz as classical
music. Now 4 years later there is “More Love” which is an intimate
CD where a lot of fellow musicians join her on a adventurous
musical journey. The whole album has a band setup with trumpet,
bass, acoustic bass, violins, cello, drums and percussion. The
compositions are written with as well a fantastic sense for balance,
structure and intense passion, as on “For Harriet” with a moving
and flowing touch. “Wynn's Bounce” is intense jazz, with a fine
cadenced melody line and the phenomenal trumpet played by
Kevin Turcotte. On “And Ruby” where Alex plays solo acoustic
Guitar, melancholy and poetry are absorbing a listener. “Suite
Red”an up tempo track with cadenced rhythmical patterns reflects
A feeling of folk music in combination with a flavour of jazz. Other
highlights are “How You Dance” and “Side Dish”.” Toxicodendron”,
expresses a feeling of solitude. The CD finishes with the title
track “More Love” which shows as well the fantastic guitar skills
of Alex Houghton with a very refreshing and renewing view on
guitar music in a wonderful ambiance.

Henk te Veldhuis
Bridge Guitar Reviews
© Copyright 2006

- Bridge Guitar Reviews


Alex Houghton
Happybody
Independent
888AH03
Album number three from Ottawa's Alex Houghton, an acoustic guitar player who is developing not only her own playing style but exuding a compositional confidence in the process. Happy Body is subtle and understated, but infectious. The haunting Compression evokes a Miles Davis influence complete with Kevin Turcotte on trumpet. There is a grace and charm to tracks like Home as a Theme. The atmospheric textures sit as a backdrop to the precision finger picking. Its easy to be drawn into the heavy groove of Shelf Elf. Dear Peace shows off beautiful melody against Peter Kieswalter's astute counterpoint string arrangements resulting in a nice added touch of drama. Well recorded and well produced, but only clocking in a little more than 30 minutes, Happybody only strikes one disappointing chord, and that is there should be more.
By Jay Knudson






- Penguin Eggs Magazine


Discography

albums released:
*Camouflage, 1995
*Rocket Science, 1997
*Happybody, 2002
*More Love, 2006
*The Miss Bennets, 2008

CD Compilations
*La Guitara, Gender bending strings, Vangaurd records
(Vanguard Records, 2006)
*Six Strings Vol.II, 2003
(Borealis Records)
*OFC 25th Anniversary Compilation 2000
*Dawson City 20th
Anniversary CD 1998
*Resurfacing, compilation 1998

Photos

Bio

A self-proclaimed late bloomer, Alex Houghton began a serious relationship with the guitar in her early 20’s. With no previous musical background, she began to study in earnest with whomever she could. Private lessons with Paul Bourdeau, a renowned expert on the music of Lenny Breau; 3 years of musical studies at both Carleton and Ottawa Universities; occasional lessons with Don Ross and Pierre Bensusan and workshops and master classes with any guitarist who piqued her musical curiosity all helped to inspire her.

But Alex’s deepest inspiration was and continues to be her compulsion to create her own music. That compulsion has culminated in 4 albums of guitar music over the past 13 years, soundtracks for both movies and television, and as a co-writing member of the group, the Miss Bennets a pop album released in 2008.

Alex currently lives in Chelsea, Quebec with her partner, Ross Murray, her young son, Wynn and way too many cats.