Well, I wasn’t able to make it to the Palais Theatre in Tasmania last summer to hear finger-style guitarist Richard Gilewitz perform live, but according to our correspondent in the land DownUnder (picture above), it was quite an event.

Lucky for those of us who were on walk-about and couldn’t make it, the event was been captured for live CD. For Richard, music is his life and his livlihood. He fully understands that to reap the benefits of performing for a living, much hard work is required. With that goal in mind, he’s become not only a master performer—blending relatable storytelling with a sophisticated style of playing—but an accomplished networker as well. Through this combination of skills (and a highly dedicated street team of fans and friends) Richard is able to sniff out and pursue opportunities often missed. As a result, he’s trotted much of the globe and played for countless people in many countries… and made many friends along the way.

Tasmania Live is an excellent collection of songs that not only demonstrate that he knows which side of the guitar the strings are on, but that he appreciates his music from the standpoint of his audience. Obviously, the reason we attend concerts in the first place is to watch the artist perform their magic before our very eyes, and there’s a lot of magic in Richard’s music. While the visual aspect may be lost from the recording, the music itself takes on a a fuller, more intense level of expression. This reviewers favorites include “Have You Seen A Rainbow At Night?,”  “Bilingual Fantasy,” and “Sarah Natasha.” There are also some wonderfully done covers thrown in for good mention, including “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” “Freight Train,” and “Both sides Now.” For samples of three of the songs on the CD (unfortunately, none of those I mentioned) just go to his web site.

The production quality is excellent. And while it sounds fine through earbuds, it’s better listened to on a good stereo, in a big room, with volume up. In fact, if you tape a couple of big blow up photos of Richard to your wall, it’ll be just like you are there, in the front row, for Tasmania Live. Popcorn?

Here’s “Have You Seen A Rainbow At Night?” recorded in New Zealand in 2011