From Minneapolis Lehto & Wright are consummate purveyors of classic British and Celtic folk-rock championed by such luminaries as Fairport Convention, Horslips and Steeleye Span. On this, their third offering, they more specifically pay homage to folk guitarist Martin Carthy and rocker Richard Thompson. Steve Lehto’s inspired and meticulous playing makes him the ideal musician to handle both the acoustic and electric genius of Carthy and Thompson respectively. Bassist John Wright’s lightening-fast yet fluid playing revives the spirit of classic rock bassists like Chris Squire, Dave Pegg and even John Paul Jones. His heartfelt playing is the perfect fit for Lehto’s rock & roll and acoustic roles. “Siege of Delhi” and “The Silver Tip/the Merry Tailor/Thompson’s Reel” are stellar examples of this duo’s ability to rock as convincingly as their ‘70s mentors while the gentle pieces like Carthy’s “McVeagh” and Lehto’s “Antietam” reveals their impressive versatility. The 15-minute “Ten Long Years” is a progressive folk-rock tour de force as it includes instrumental passages that recall Steve Hackett and Led Zeppelin among others. Drummer Matt Jacobs rounds out their sound helping to give Letho & Wright a full but not overbearing presence. If Tempest, Fairport and classic Jethro Tull are to your liking A GAME OF CHESS should satisfy.
Review By Dave Sleger