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News! Prairie Braid and Sunday Visitors had been played on
Utah Public Radio on "Fresh Folk" with Blair Larsen. Sadly the show has been discontinued as of 2014 but some reruns can still be heard at:
UPR "Fresh Folk" with Blair Larsen
"Acoustic Reflections" is what Scott Balsai calls the compositions he creates on his acoustic guitar. "Each piece," he says, "reflects a sliver of my life, but taken together, they can be seen as musical diary of 'tone poems' which reflect my life as a whole." The compositions carry the listener from Balsai's home in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, to his hiking the Appalachian Trail, to his moving across the country and his living, teaching, skiing, fishing and hiking in Idaho.
Having been born and reared in Bethlehem, Pa. from 1954 to 1980, Balsai had the fortune of having been located in an unusually rich musical milieu. Home of the Godfrey Daniels Coffee House where the likes of John Gorka and others got their start, Balsai remembers when he too warmed audiences there before he moved to Idaho in 1981 to pursue a career in education. He also remembers learning his first electric guitar licks with the help of Steve Kimock, who is now an internationally known rock-jazz guitarist.
Scott has recorded five CD's of "Acoustic Reflections" which as Taylor Guitars says, "...ring with sparkling clarity...and...glimmer with the rich, hypnotic pulse of a sun-dappled stream." His first CD, titled Waiting for the Sun , was recorded in Pocatello in 1998 with the help of Steve Eaton. This CD has since sold out, and in 2010 Scott released a new version titled Waiting for the Sun: Second Edition which was recorded in his own recording studio, between the years 2007 and 2010. Scott's second CD, titled Falling Colors on Prairie Braid, was recorded, with the help of Dan Mihlfeith, in Pocatello in 2004. In 2012, Scott has re-recorded this CD as well. Scott's third CD, titled Reflections of Maple and Mahogany: A Musical Diary , was recorded by Scott in his Acoustic Reflections recording studio from 2007 to 2010. This CD was formally released in 2011 and is also available through CD Baby. Most recently in early 2013, Scott has finished his fourth CD titled Acoustic Reflections Undercover . This CD draws inspiration from the public domain and from other contemporary players who have influenced his style. This CD was also recorded by Scott in his Acoustic Reflections recording studio between the years 2010 and 2013. Scott's fifth CD is titled "Undercover Vocal". This CD show cases Scott's playing and singing and has 10 recordings of some of Scott's favorite cover songs. This CD has also been recorded in Scott's Acoustic Reflections recording studio between the years 2012 and 2015.
Join us at___ (where and when)___, to see Scott Balsai perform "...his unique fingerstyle guitar techniques..." which should "...contribute to an impassioned and unforgettable musical event."
"Acoustic Reflections" is what Scott Balsai calls the compositions he creates on his acoustic guitar. "Each piece," he says, "reflects a sliver of my life, but taken together, they can be seen as musical diary of 'tone poems' which reflect my life as a whole."
Having been born and reared in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania from the 1950’s through the 1970’s, Balsai had the fortune of being located in an unusually rich musical milieu. Home of the “Godfrey Daniels” coffee house, Scott had the opportunity to cross paths, both on stage and off stage, with the likes of John Gorka and Steve Kimock, among others. In fact, Scott first learned his way around the guitar neck with some cursory help from Steve while they both were barely out of high school. In the late 1970's, he performed several times at the famous "Godfrey Daniels" coffee house before moving to Idaho.
In 1980 Scott walked the entire Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. (A couple of photographs he took while hiking the AT are part of the graphics on two of his CD's.) He says he did this because he needed to think about what he would do with his life and with his guitar. Then in 1981, pulled by his love for the outdoors, he moved to Pocatello, Idaho where he became an English teacher in the Pocatello School District.
Although he has been retired from teaching since 2011, he says that...
"...some of the most ardent and polite listeners of mine have been those students in my classes over the years that I have taught in the Pocatello School District. A few of those English students of mine also became guitar students during the lunch hour. I suppose the best thing I could have done with my guitar for most of my working career was to use it as a teaching tool in my classes, as I did. The apparent effect it had on my students and their learning was, and still is, more valuable to me then anything else I could have possibly done with it."
He hopes that his playing may inspire you too and bring you peace and joy in your life as well. He says, "If this happens, then all of the countless hours I have spent teaching myself to play have been all worthwhile."
Since living and teaching in Pocatello, Idaho, Scott has worked with a few local, and national, favorites such as Steve Eaton and his son Marcus Eaton. In the last ten years or so, he also has gotten to be good friends with such nationally recognized players as Bill Mize and Michael Gulezian, two of his favorite acoustic fingerstyle players. Both of these players have graciously encouraged Scott to become more active in performing out, recording, and getting more involved in the contemporary acoustic guitar scene.
Another influence of Scott’s is Will Ackerman. This becomes obvious when one sees Ackerman’s piece titled “Visiting” listed as number four on Scott’s third CD, Reflections of Maple and Mahogany. This is the only non-original piece out of 15 recordings on the CD. On this recording, one can hear a pleasant mix of Scott and Ackerman as Scott gives his interpretation of this piece. In his textual annotations, he then thanks Ackerman for the impetus for another of Scott’s own pieces on the CD titled “Sunday Visitors”.
Other influences of his have been Jorma Kaukonen, Alex De Grassi, Leo Kottke, Billy McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Chris Proctor, Ed Gerhard, Norman Blake, Duane Allman as well as a host of famous finger pickin’ singer-songwriters such as Paul Simon, Gordon Lightfoot, Peter, Paul and Mary, James Taylor, Jim Croce, Don McLean, John Denver, Eric Anderson, Tom Rush, Doc and Merle Watson, Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and England’s Tir Na Nog, John Martyn, Ralph McTell, John Renbourn, and many others.
Scott presently has 5 CD's. They include four instrumental CD's and one vocal CD with some of his favorite covers.
Established: July 2006
Last Updated: 30 October 2015