Tag Archives: Resipiscent Records

Review : Ava Mendoza “Shadow Stories” CD (Resipiscent Records, 2010)

by David Leicht

In June, Work & Worry interviewed Oakland-based guitarist Ava Mendoza as part of its week-long series celebrating Tompkins Square Records’ new Beyond Berkeley Guitar compilation. Ava’s contribution, the ebullient “Regional Redwood Park Blues: Between Hay and Grass” is one of the collection’s highlights, sounding rather exotic in context with the other, more contemplative entries.  Ava studied classical guitar technique while growing up, then traditional music theory at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and modern classical/electronic theory at Mills College in Oakland.  Her formal musical background will come as no surprise to anyone hearing “Regional Redwood” for the first time, given its sophisticated chord movement and voicings.  Yet, Ava plays with a sense of wonder, a sort of illusory naiveté, using a gritty-sounding, amplified Gibson ES125, exaggerating bends and ripping through runs with abandon.  This dichotomy between sophistication and sense of wonder is in full bloom on her new solo guitar album, Shadow Stories. Continue reading