Lee Ritenour has shared his latest project Dreamcatcher, his first album in five years.
The follow-up to 2015’s A Twist of Rit, the record promises to be the guitarist’s most introspective work yet, with each track telling a distinct story. It opens with free-spirited title track “Dreamcatcher” featuring expansive classical guitar harmonies, before heading to “Charleston,” a mellow tribute to the eponymous South Carolina city where Ritenour performed years ago.
Ritenour switches to a growling rock guitar sound on “Abbot Kinney,” then dials it back on “For DG,” which is dedicated to longtime friend and pianist Dave Grusin. Aptly, the album closes out with “2020,” a three-part reflection on the tumultuous events of the year.
Ritenour himself has experienced more than his fair share of hardship in recent years: a catastrophic fire in 2018 claimed his house and studio in Malibu, California, along with many of his instruments and much of his life’s work. The week after, he was hospitalized for heart surgery. The album represents his efforts to come to terms with and bounce back from these experiences. “Making this record was a life-saver for me,” he said in a statement.
As his first purely solo work, it’s also one of Ritenour’s most musically ambitious yet. “I’ve never done anything like this before and it’s an important missing piece in my guitar history,” he added. “It was inspiring and it was meant to happen this year, in these times—after a lifetime of playing the guitar, this project reaffirmed just how much I love the guitar.”
Listen to Dreamcatcher below: