Yair Yona
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Yair Yona

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On the Ozen-Bar stage last night, there were three guitars awaiting for Yair Yona : 2 6-strings (one of them a slide guitar), and a 12-strings.

Yona, who launches his new album "Remember" presents high playing
skills in all of them, using a finger style playing technique.



He is, no doubt , one of the few virtuous players who use this kind of technique in Israel
As Yona plays the lead and the rhythm parts at once, the rich sound produced by
him, gives a feeling that there are number of musicians on stage and not only
one.



The majority of his live set revolves around his instrumental compositions, though one cover version was played. These are mesmerizing compositions where
one can hear many influences from folk, rock, blues, delta-blues, country and
jazz.



The music doesn't bore for a second, changes of rhythm and scales shows Yona's
composing skills. The only song that Yona sang among the instrumentals, was a
cover version for Wilco's Jesus Etc. which brought to mind the question - why doesn't Yona sing often?



Yair Yona is a guitar virtuous, and a skilled composer with a lot to offer, we can only hope he'll add his unique voice to the songs he'll write. If you're interested to get into a fascinating musical experience and get to know Yona's interpretation of the blues, is welcome to come and check one of his shows throughout the
country.

- NRG Israel


First things first out of the way: yeah, this disc is somewhat an homage to all Americana pickers, particularly Fahey. That out of the way, we should focus on what these guys are doing and what they do that make them a rare band of folk picking goodness.

The first song that distinguishes this to my mind is “Floodgate Opens to Allow a Ship Come Through (As It Carries The Passenger Fahey On It). Yeah, I know. The name drop is inevitable as a cheap New Orleans hotel room full of mounds of cocaine and booze. But it’s different. It would be too easy to imitate, as some how, and I’m not dropping Chicago avant names here, the shorn beauty of Fahey. What Yair Yona do is something a little different, while employing the same general idiom, adding to the Americana Russian flairs, Egyptian influences and an abundance if humor along the way.

If you’re a fan of the picked gee-tar, then check this out—and not just that, but the slide as well. This disc is a lovely surprise, full of grace and elegance and virtuosity. 8/10 -- P. Somniferum (14 July, 2009)
- Foxy Digitalis


Ascoltando l’incipit di Remember, che si apre con la traccia omonima, capiamo sin da subito di essere di fronte ad un chitarrista insolito, che pare provenire da anni molto distanti da noi.

Sono gli anni del folk inglese, ma anche di un certo blues a stelle e strisce, il più primordiale. Il primo nome a far capolino negli avvolgenti fingerpicking di Yair Yona è per forza di cose quello di John Fahey, uomo che dovrebbe essere un punto di riferimento fondamentale per chiunque voglia imbracciare una sei corde acustica. Senza dubbio, Fahey è stato maestro e principale ispiratore per la prima incisione ufficiale di questo ragazzo israeliano, che rimescola elementi – appunto - faheyani con quelli di un altro mostro sacro, Bert Jansch, senza tralasciare l’influenza di musicisti coevi (Godspeed You! Black Emperor). Sono comunque il folk e il blues a fare da protagonisti in questi dieci quadretti chitarristici (di sei o dodici corde), arricchiti qua e là da un violino o da una viola, da un banjo o da sottili rintocchi di piano. Poco più di quaranta minuti di musica che non stupisce, non sconvolge, ma culla, rilassa e distende. È un lavoro un po’ fuori dal tempo, Remember, con queste trame strumentali che rievocano un “artigianato” musicale a detta di molti quasi scomparso, che invece rivive attraverso le note di questo artista che preferisce tacere e dar voce solo alle sue dita.
- Audiodrome


With an overt love for Fahey, Basho and Jansch and a refracted kinship with latter day string pickers from Chasney to Rose; Israeli guitarist Yair Yona seems to draw much more from the American Delta and British Hills than from Israel's musical tradition. But Yona's immersion into the styles of these two continents strikes a fitting tribute, with a fluid style and simple touches of sadness trickling from his fingertips.

Occasionally Yona's influences play very far from the chest, with songs like "Pharaoh" practically screaming Fahey, but when the instrumentation is layered; with moans of slide sidling over the picking, his songs begin to work out rhythmic landscapes that stretch and tumble just perfectly.

The addition of ambient drones only further opens up these regions of Yona's playing, wrapping the galloping strings in dark clouds of mystery and unease. Considering this is his solo debut, the reverence to his influences seems like a starting point aching to break open on further recordings. - Raven Sings The Blues


The story goes like this: Israeli Yair Yona bought Bert Jansch's debut at a record store in London after being intrigued by Jansch's face on the cover, fell in love with it, and switched from bass to 12-string acoustic guitar. It's a good story, and sonically it makes a lot of sense. Yona's ragas have all the elements of the classic finger-picking folkies, both the British side as well as the American Takoma tradition. It's hard to convey emotion without lyrics, and even harder for one man to do it alone, with a single instrument. But he succeeds admirably, mutating a few lengths of wire and a box of wood into a story-teller all its own. The thing that people forget is that an acoustic guitar can also be a percussion instrument, but a few slaps on the body and hard picks of the strings give "Struggled So Hard" a real backbeat.

This is not necessarily a song about triumph, as no blues song can ever be; it's about getting back up from your knees and soldiering on. He's drawing from the same influences (and as talented) as contemporaries Jack Rose, Ben Chasney and James Blackshaw, but whereas each of those dabbled with alternate minimalism and maximalism, whether through feedback or reverb or face-melting electric riffs, Yona treats his object much more simply. You don't need a pedal to be emotive, and "Struggled So Hard" reaffirms faith in the guitar as a vehicle of quiet menace and stolid conviction. - A Crush On Scott Walker music blog


Promising Israeli label Anova took under his wing guitarist Yair Yona (12-string acoustic, intoxicated banjo and Weissenborn lap steel guitar), who developed his own style based upon certain predecessors (John Fahey for his ideas in developing traditions further, Bert Jansch for his charming guitar style perhaps, Glenn Jones for his, to a degree comparable independent vision based upon blues and ragtime styles) and style interests (so of course the early Missisipi & Delta blues and ragtime themselves) up to some examples of the independent/acid folk artists (mentioned by the label were the ultra-somber Godspeed You!Black Emperor), into his own guitar playing compositions. The bluesy/ragtime bluesy pickings are picked with an explorative with textures, melodically with a certain happy lightness. A couple tracks used certain background feedback sounds as textures as if formed from lately and vaguely returned sounds coming from the same string echoes (on “remember”) or like distant slide guitar textures which like a dog in the distance formed a response to the lead the acoustic guitar pickings (on the second track), or like more noise-based electric slides in the background, like a texture of an electrified sea by city lights (on track 6). Just now and then a banjo takes care of a second layer. The pickings alone can be distinctive enough not to carry any additional sound with it (like on the faster Bert Jansch-like “Brave Walls). Different also is the longer conclusive track, “Skinny Fist”, which after some picking patterns improvises in a stretched more raga-esque open tuning (a mode which once reappeared by guitarists like Steffen Basho-Junghans perhaps), to conclude with a very nice chamber orchestration with a texturing drums rhythm. A strong distinctive album which I’m sure will not remain unnoticed too long.

http://www.psychedelicfolk.com/guitar14.html#anchor_486 - Psychedelic Folk website


Discography

Remember - 2009

Photos

Bio

Armed with a 12 strings acoustic guitar, an intoxicated banjo and a cheeky Weissenborn, amongst other soaked instruments, Israel's Yair Yona adapts his British Folk influences and his love for the groundbreaking guitar works of John Fahey, to a captivating trip down memory lane of the 1920s & 1930s Mississippi and Delta blues, country, rag-time and contemporary acid-folk.

Through his happy/sad compositions, a clever Salute to the late Fahey and a somber wink to Godspeed You! Black Emperor with "Skinny Fists", the closing track on "Remember", Yona adds a brilliant album to the exclusive pantheon of innovative acid folk and modern blues albums.

Recommended if you like Glenn Jones, Doug Martsch (Built to Spill), Bert Jansch, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Jack Rose, Leadbelly & Steffen Basho Junghans

"Really possesses a mood and vibe that's very much to my taste, a mix of joy and sorrow, darkness and light…one of the few new solo guitar records to make me sit up and take notice in a while…" (Glenn Jones)