Heading West, which marks Howe’s fourth journey with Real Music, features some of his most sublime music to date. The guitar is central on this release, featuring warm, carefree strumming that is accented by keyboards, piano and rhythm. Songs like “Old Wooden House” and “American Travels” have a pensive beauty to them — the guitar harmonies bear a reflective essence, as if Howe is wandering through old haunts reminiscing of past joys. “Badlands” ups the tempo a bit and adds a bit of bluesy groove, while maintaining Howe’s signature laid-back flair. A must listen for fans of relaxing guitar music.