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Stephen Inglis - Learning You By Heart (Self-Released)

9 September 2015

Stephen Inglis is a folk artist based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and there’s something about the easy going yet passionate quality of his home state that runs deep in the veins of his music. Inglis is best known for his slack key guitar playing—a style where the strings are tuned to form a single chord, which he put to good use on his album Slack on Dylan. On his newest album, Learning You By Heart, Inglis again utilizes this instantly recognizable technique, and he is augmented by a group of musicians that fit in effortlessly with his charming style.

A collection of generally uptempo, hummable folk pop, the album is nothing short of pleasant from the first song “Blind With Haste” to the finger picking of the closer “The Long Run.” But along with his guitar playing, the real star of Learning You By Heart is his poetic, picturesque lyrics which are reminiscent of Dylan’s more laid-back country days. Having played with Bill Kreutzmann of the Grateful Dead, there’s also an especially *Jerry Garcia*-esque sense of ease and humor on songs like “Maria Luisa.” Overall, there aren’t many stand out tracks on Learning You By Heart, but that’s only because the entire album is consistently enjoyable.