The word ‘shingle’ has many meanings. It could denote a roof tile or small pebbles on a beach. Several places have ‘Shingle’ in their names: Shingle Cove (in Antarctica) and Shingle Street (a community and conservation group in Suffolk, UK), for example. And, in the plural, it is a viral disease. Which of these inspired Matthew J. Rolin to write a sparkling acoustic 12-string guitar piece called Shingles, I can not say for sure, but to the Crotchety ear it has the ring of a quiet, contemplative stroll beside the sea on a warm summer’s evening.
Matthew J Rolin is a finger-style guitarist from Athens, Ohio. He is known as a folk guitarist who strays occasionally into rock and jazz territories with harsh tones or improvised passages. This particular track, though, has an almost classical feel. It is the lead single from Rolin’s latest album, Passing, which was released about two weeks ago.
Perhaps the right word for Shingles is ‘pastoral’, as depicted in the official YouTube video, but I much prefer that wonderful picture of the Milky Way hanging over a Suffolk beach.