It goes without saying that Polytheistic Fragments is an instrumental release - who among us would want it otherwise? In the tradition of his classic debut, Salvador Kali, this new record features equal amounts of improvisation and composition. Sir Richards powers lie in his ability to captivate with just the sound of his guitar, but he doesnt completely abandon studio processes, which allow Polytheistic Fragments to communicate a greater wholeness: all Sir Rick, all the time, if you will. We have come to expect a few solo acoustic guitar pieces with the gypsy stylings of his hero, Django Reinhardt - and as if to tenderize our consciousness and prepare it for the ride, Cross My Palm with Silver meets and exceeds our expectations. Rub Al Khali is an ode to the oud, a northern African lute of sorts. On Free Masonic Guitar, Sir Richard manifests free form acoustic playing wholly in his own style. Peppering the mix are the sounds of electric guitar and lap steel guitar, bringing contrast and color. Hecates Dream is a dreamy praise to a dark Greek Goddess, but Tennessee Porch Swing and Canned Goods and Firearms switch gears to good old down home Americana and country twang. Sir Richard is renowned for his prowess and mastery with the guitar, but the piano playing on Polytheistic Fragments shows a fluid, meditative style. Saraswati is a lengthy river piece bathed in Hindustani serenity, while Cemetery Games is a short celebratory skeletal dance, with more light-heartedness than spook. In a record with so many spirits, Bishop fills in the space where necessary and rounds out the feeling with catchy tunes such as Elysium Number Five and Ecstasies in the Open Air. Polytheistic Fragments shows that the divinely inspired Sir Richard Bishop cannot be contained in one form. -Drag City.