Below is a collection of recordings by Croatian musician and composer Damir (Hal) Halilić. Each CD and MP3 is available for purchase at Amazon.com (USA), Amazon.co.uk (United Kingdom), Amazon.de (Germany), Amazon.fr (France), Amazon. it (Italy) and Amazon.es (Spain).
To say that I am one of Hal’s biggest fans would be a gross understatement. His guitar-playing abilities and compositional skills rival, and even surpass, those of the best in the guitar world. Every style of music resonates on his CDs, and I hope you take the time to enjoy what Hal has to offer.
I am happy to include Hal’s newest release below. It is a brilliant release of some of the freshest, most innovative music I’ve heard in a long time. The CD can be purchased worldwide at Amazon.com here:
A Compilation of the Music of Damir Halilić:
– available in MP3 format only
This recording was Hal’s first solo project, circa 2001. The two-disc set was inspired by musical styles found in the United States (disc one) and with those found across Europe (disc two).
Disc One features a mix of rock & roll, blues, country and Americana. A major contributor to the brilliance of these songs was American bluesman, Robert ‘Doc Rocks’ Johnson whose vocal and lyrical talents are clearly displayed. Hal’s scorching hot guitar piece, the Americana instrumental track, ‘Country Pie,’ which was a major hit throughout Europe, can be found on this disc.
Disc Two is a mix of beats and rhythms found in Europe. A strong, international spirit is present in the song list and several languages, including French, Italian, Croatian and English, appear on the recording.
– available in MP3 format only
In 2002, Hal changed musical styles and decided to devote his efforts to the art of solo, finger-style guitar playing. The results of this effort went on to become his landmark recording, Ocean. This CD was recorded in Bologna, Italy and produced by world-renowned, Italian guitar virtuoso, Franco Morone. There are eighteen original compositions on this CD, and a range of styles that vary from traditional Croatian music to classical and American blues.
Watch Brela here:
– audio CD and MP3 formats available
Building on the success of the Ocean recording, Hal released the Infinity project in 2004. The sound of the steel strings guitar and the rules of finger-style recording were the primary focus of this CD. There is never more than one guitar playing on any one track of the eighteen songs. Into Hell’s Fire author, Douglas Cavanaugh, contributed to the vocals on many of the songs. He also helped write the English lyrics of the award-winning, Croatian hit; ‘Speak to Me.’ Douglas makes a cameo appearance in the hit video, too. See if you can find him.
Videos from the Infinity CD here:
‘Speak To Me’ video:
‘Tender Wagon Song’ video:
– Audio CD and MP3 formats available
The success of Hal’s solo efforts did not going unnoticed, and it wasn’t long before he was invited to Nashville, TN, to record a colossal project featuring some the biggest names in Music City, USA. Trilogy is a thirty-six song, three disc behemoth of all-original material that was recorded in 2007. Each disc focuses on a different style of music, and Hal’s guitar playing is the main attraction on every single song. Several Nashville stars contributed to the project including Suzy Bogguss, John Jorgenson, Charlie Chadwick; Greg Davis, Jamie Hartford, Stuart Duncan, J.D. Blair, and many other top-tier musicians.
Disc One is a grand mix of American rock & roll, country, blues, and Americana. A few are Croatian pop songs that were huge hits on Croatian radio. Most of songs are sung in English. American country legend Suzy Bogguss performs brilliantly on the country/bluegrass smash hit, ‘Tonight, We Dance,’ and American bluesman Michael Roach shines in his performance of the blues/jazz song, ‘I Won’t Be Back No More,’ and on the original blues icon, Robert Johnson’s classic, ‘Crossroads.’ Other Nashville stars add outstanding contributions on this disc, too.
Disc Two is another production of original, solo, finger-style guitar compositions that Hal created especially for this project. It’s hard to say which track stands out. It is that good.
Disc Three is a treat for those waiting to hear Hal strap on his electric guitar and go to work like he did earlier in his career. This recording is an accumulation of original rock and jazz-fusion music that will stop time. John Jorgenson plays some wicked guitar on two of the tracks, and at the suggestion of producer Charlie Chadwick and Damir Halilić, Into Hell’s Fire author, Douglas Cavanaugh, contributes his voice and comical lyrics on a few of the songs.
A sample of Trilogy here:
‘El Vientro Allegre’ video clip – www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7o7qjaAC2Q
Mare Nostrum – International Release Date Forthcoming
After signing with a new label, Croatia Records, Croatia’s top recording company, in early 2013, Hal traveled to London, England to record his monumental project, Mare Nostrum. He not only switched recording labels for this venture, but he also changed producers and his style of playing. For Mare Nostrum, Hal played a classical acoustic guitar on all the tracks and created what will likely become his greatest success to date.
In September 2013, Hal teamed up with legendary British producer, B.J. Cole, and sound engineer, Steve Honest. B.J. Cole has worked as a session musician and producer for some of the largest acts in rock & roll and pop music in the U.K. over the last forty years. Together, the trio recorded the Mare Nostrum album.
Mare Nostrum is a collection of solo guitar compositions, ranging from classical pieces to more traditional Croatian music that is commonly found along the Dalmatian coast. The styles vary from theatrical performance compositions to Scott Joplin-like ragtime arrangements that will be sure to have toes tapping around the world.
Sharing my opinion of this recording is guitar legend, Elliot Randall. Elliot is best known for the guitar solo he played on the 1973 Steely Dan hit ‘Reeling in the Years.’ Legendary Led Zeppelin guitarist, Jimmy Page, once stated that Elliot Randall’s performance on ‘Reeling in the Years’ is “probably his favorite guitar solo of all time.”
Here is what Elliot Randall has to say about Hal’s Mare Nostrum project:
I enjoyed HAL’s CD very much – Damir is a lovely player – and in quite a few styles.
(There’s really enough for two albums in there!)
…so tell him I send warm congratulations on a ‘job well done.’ – Elliott Randall.
Hal’s musical abilities are in line with those of the best in the world, so give Hal’s Mare Nostrum, and his other CDs, a listen and decide for yourself.