New Al­bums

A se­lec­tion of new and reis­sued gui­tar re­leases, in­clud­ing Al­bum Of The Month

Guitar Techniques - - MUSIC -

steve vai Mod­ern prim­i­tive/pas­sion and war­fare 25tH an­niver­sary edi­tion Sony Le­gacy ✪✪✪✪✪

Twenty-five years ago, Steve Vai re­leased an al­bum that, to many, is in­stru­men­tal rock gui­tar’s pin­na­cle; Pas­sion And War­fare. Ablaze with as­tound­ing le­gato chops, rich melodies and bold ar­range­ments it’s great to hear re-vi­talised ver­sions of Lib­erty, The An­i­mal and the touch­ing Sis­ters. There are bonus tracks too such as Lovely Elixir. For fans it’s a treat, more so that it’s cou­pled with a new re­lease, Mod­ern Prim­i­tive. Fea­tur­ing mu­sic writ­ten in the 80s, Mod­ern Prim­i­tive has been re-recorded to sound fresh for 2016. Devin Townsend (vo­cal­ist on Sex And Re­li­gion) fea­tures on The Lost Chord; a bal­lad brim­ming with ef­fected gui­tars and a richly-ex­ploratory ar­range­ment. If you han­ker for ‘chops rock’ Vai, No Pock­ets has thick rock tones, shred licks and Zappa-es­que rhythms. If or­ches­tral Vai is more your thing, check out the three-part closer, Pink And Blows Over; it might just be the big­gest piece he’s ever recorded. Im­pres­sive in­deed!

Jeff Beck Loud Hailer Atco ✪✪ ✪✪ ✪

This is Beck’s first stu­dio al­bum since Emo­tions And Com­mo­tions. It’s a song-ori­en­tated al­bum writ­ten by Jeff, rhythm gui­tarist Car­men Van­den­berg and singer Rosie Bones and brims with great ur­ban blues tones and licks. The Revo­lu­tion Will Be Tele­vised with its pound­ing triplet beat pro­vides the ba­sis for Rosie’s vo­cal and Jeff’s scream­ing Strat. The bluesy feel car­ries into Live In The Dark with honky Strat tones aplenty. If you like Jeff’s gui­tar clean with tons of re­verb then you’ll love Scared For The Chil­dren and the al­bum’s only in­stru­men­tal, Edna. If not, the James Brown in­spired O.I.L. has Jeff syn­co­pat­ing crazy slide licks. Ad­ding vo­cals to a ‘blues-rock gui­tar plus mod­ern pro­duc­tion’ ap­proach con­tin­ues to make the Guv’nor (© Brian May) stand above most other play­ers!

Allen Hinds fly south Allen Hinds ✪✪✪✪✪

Allen Hinds is back with a new solo al­bum and it’s in­fec­tious. His style fuses south­ern rock (All­mans), fu­sion (Lan­dau, Holdsworth), blues (Jeff Beck, etc) and ‘adult pop’ (Joni Mitchell). This mix­ture makes for an ap­peal­ing sound with some of the best gui­tar melodies and over­driven Strat and Les Paul tones around. Opener Springs Eter­nal is a vi­brant Amer­i­cana ar­range­ment fea­tur­ing leg­ends Abe La­boriel and Vin­nie Co­laiuta back­ing Allen’s rich Strat, where ev­ery note and pick scrape car­ries weight. Buckley fea­tures a great Aero­smith-like groove with tasty changes, a killer or­gan solo and slinky le­gato flur­ries. If you’re a fan of tasty slide and syn­co­pa­tions, Yon­der Hills is a must lis­ten; ar­rest­ing melodies with great band in­ter­play. For Methenyesque beauty, June 15th is very touch­ing, and vo­cal­ist Max­ayn Lewis is breath­tak­ing. The su­perb play­ing and ar­range­ments make Fly South a multi-lay­ered, sonic treat!

rain­bow ffolly FFoL­Low-up Foot­print Vinyl ✪✪✪✪ ✪

When your first and only al­bum was recorded half a cen­tury ago but still sells for hun­dreds of £££s on the col­lec­tors’ mar­ket, you all still play and haven’t fallen out over ‘musical dif­fer­ences’, there’s only one thing to do. Record a fol­low-up. Or, in this case, Ffol­low-Up! With John Dun­ster­ville on gui­tar, Roger Newell on bass (both in Rick Wake­man’s 70s English Rock Ensem­ble), plus Ste­wart Os­born on drums, this is a band that can still com­pose, sing and play great mu­sic. Given who they are it’s no sur­prise to hear in­flu­ences like Pink Floyd, Gen­e­sis, The Byrds, CSN&Y, The Bea­tles, Traf­fic, and even Blur and Arthur Lee’s Love. Post­card, with its acous­tic flur­ries, weav­ing auto wah licks and East­ern-scale solo sets the scene. My Love Has Gone has a real Byrds-like feel due to 12-string riffs and tight vo­cal har­monies, while Mont­golfier has dis­tinct Floyd over­tones, but with Dun­ster­ville’s vo­cals redo­lent of Peter Gabriel; more lovely acous­tic licks, too. The play­ing is cre­ative, of­ten sur­pris­ing, but al­ways beau­ti­fully ex­e­cuted. There’s an Abbey Road vibe to the vo­cals on Noah, and the mov­ing Sky An­gels. There’s noth­ing to in­di­cate that this is a bunch of vet­er­ans just hav­ing another go – it’s a fine al­bum of great songs, played bril­liantly.

Joe bona­massa Live at the Greek the­ater Provogue ✪✪✪✪✪

The blues ti­tan’s re­lent­less out­put con­tin­ues, here hon­our­ing Fred­die, Al­bert and BB King. Any fan could have drawn up the set-list: I’ll Play The Blues For You, Go­ing Down, Oh Pretty Woman, Let The Good Times Roll and, of course, Fred­die’s Hide Away, Al­bert’s call­ing card, Born Un­der A Bad Sign, and BB’s sig­na­ture song, The Thrill Is Gone. It rounds off with a plu­ralised take on Clap­ton’s Rid­ing With The King(s). Joe has all their licks and tones; not sur­pris­ing, since he’s wor­shipped them since he was a kid. The play­ing is sub­lime, yet Joe re­sists the temp­ta­tion to let rip, pre­fer­ring in­stead to re­flect the ground­break­ing play­ing of elec­tric blues gui­tar’s three most ven­er­a­ble souls. DVD bonus fea­tures in­clude: Rid­ing With The Kings of­fi­cial video, Joe’s Big Fat Greek Photo Al­bum, and more. Fab­u­lous!

nine Be­low zero 13 shades of blue Zed Records ✪✪✪✪ ✪

Den­nis Greeves put NBZ to­gether in South Lon­don at the height of punk. With Greeves on gui­tar and vo­cals and blues harp prodigy Mark Feltham pro­vid­ing au­then­tic so­los, the line-up, with Bryan Bethell (bass) and Mickey Burkey (drums), has re­mained con­sis­tent. Here they look to lesser-known blues tracks, from up­tempo and up­beat to dark and moody. Señor Soul’s, Don’t Lay Your Funky Trip On Me is a great scene set­ter but Watch What You Do To Me al­lows Greeves’ pow­er­ful gui­tar space to breathe be­tween Feltham’s sub­lime harp lines. Great Fred­die King style licks on That’s What Love Will Make You Do, be­fore Aretha’s, Don’t Play That Song Again gets the NBZ treat­ment. Other high­lights in­clude ver­sions of May­all’s Crawl­ing Up A Hill and Slim Harpo’s, I’m Gonna Keep What I’ve Got. This is the funkier side of blues and fans who like things au­then­tic will love it.

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