Italian steel-string acoustic guitar virtuoso Pino Forastiere doesn’t mind if people point out the stylistic similarities between his work and that of late guitar innovator Michael Hedges. In fact, if it wasn’t for encountering Hedges’ music right after graduating from the Conservatory of Rome in 1993, Forastiere would have continued his pursuit of a career performing on the classical nylon 10-string guitar instead. Like Hedges, Forastiere employs a dazzling blend of slapping, tapping, strumming, altered tunings, and harmonics. However, he also combines those elements with classical phrasing and a focus on distinct and addictive melodies. His approach is captured on his second solo guitar CD, Circolare [available at www.forastiere.it], which was recorded entirely using a ’57 Martin D28 with no overdubs.