The pairing of Guthrie and Gardener might, at first glance, be expected to deliver a very particular brand of guitar-driven euphoria, however, Universal Road, defies expectations across ten tracks whose diversity is one of the album’s great strengths.
This is a most harmonious collaboration, at times affirming - 'Yesterdays News', exuberant - 'Dice', reflective - 'Sometime', striking - 'Old Friend' and quietly epic – 'Blind'. Gardener’s vocals have rarely sounded better than they do on Universal Road, his layered harmonies are a particular highlight. Guthrie’s lush sound and alluring guitar arrangements and melodies are seamlessly interwoven throughout, deftly accentuating the emotional content of the songs. Effortlessly assured, poised, and graceful, this an album whose many charms unfold and reward over repeated listens.