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

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

Our usual fine spread of re­cent gui­tar re­leases.

CoCo Mon­toya HArD trutH Al­li­ga­tor Records ✪✪✪✪✪

Coco Mon­toya is blues side­man roy­alty, hav­ing drummed for Al­bert Collins, spent 10 years as John Mayall’s gui­tarist and guested on al­bums by Bo Did­dley. Coco’s a leftie, and one of those rar­i­fied blues gui­tarists (Al­bert King, Otis Rush and Doyle Bramhall II also among their ranks), who plays his gui­tar strung upside down. He’s a pow­er­ful player and if you were to mix var­i­ous Kings with Robert Cray and Robben Ford, you might get a clue as to how he sounds. Be­fore The Bul­lets Fly is a clas­sic tale of a man on the edge of dan­ger – great gui­tar and lovely B3 Ham­mond. Lost In The Bot­tle speaks for it­self – pow­er­ful Coco solo and great slide from Johnny Lee Schell. Lovely feel through­out, es­pe­cially on the Cray-like Old Habits Are Hard To Break, and Devil Don’t Sleep. This is grown-up blues about grown-up mat­ters, from a guy who’s been round the block a few times and can bring all his ex­pe­ri­ence to bear in a set that’s both sat­is­fy­ing and au­then­tic.

Den­nis Cof­fey Hot Cof­fey In tHe D Res­o­nance Records ✪✪✪✪ ✪

The slick licks on The Temptations’ Cloud 9 and Ball Of Con­fu­sion made Den­nis Cof­fey one of the most in­fec­tious stu­dio gui­tarists around. As part of Mo­town’s Funk Broth­ers, he brought an edgy rock-funk vibe to R&B and his ‘71 in­stru­men­tal, Scorpio fur­ther en­hanced his rep­u­ta­tion. This new re­lease is a live trio record­ing made in Detroit in 1968 at the height of his pow­ers. And it shows. Seven ex­tended per­for­mances see him im­prov­ing around clas­sics like Jimmy Webb’s By The Time I Get To Phoenix and Her­bie Han­cock’s Maiden Voy­age. He switches from sin­gle notes to oc­taves, dou­ble-stops to tasty chords, some­times stomp­ing on a fuzz or wah (The Big D - a great funk stom­per). In an ex­posed trio set­ting (drums, B3 or­gan, gui­tar), Den­nis has lots of room to ex­press him­self and much to say har­mon­i­cally and rhyth­mi­cally. Stand­out track is Bacharach’s The Look Of Love; nearly 12 min­utes of groove, dy­namic range and phrases that run the gamut of ten­der through to busy ex­cla­ma­tions. Great stuff!

Duke Ro­bil­laRD Blues full CIr­Cle Dix­iefrog Records ✪✪✪✪ ✪

Ro­bil­lard al­ways sounds great! From his time with Room­ful Of Blues and later with The Fabulous Thun­der­birds (re­plac­ing Jim­mie Vaughan), he’s ex­hib­ited a touch that com­bines jazz, swing and rock and roll el­e­ments, with blues, for a style that nods to both the Vaughan Broth­ers and ear­lier mas­ters like T-Bone Walker. With Blues Full Cir­cle, Duke harks back to Room­ful Of Blues with a mix­ture of new and old songs. Lay A Lit­tle Lovin’ On Me has a great throaty over­drive lead tone that Duke bends, slides and vi­bratos. Mourn­ing Dove is played with such clipped pre­ci­sion you’d think Al­bert Collins was alive and well again! Among the guests, Duke plays along­side Jim­mie Vaughan and Dou­ble Trou­ble on Shuf­flin’ and Scuf­flin’, a swing­ing blues in­stru­men­tal that con­jures vi­sions of a hot and smokey jazz-blues venue in New Or­leans. Tasty, old-school blues in­deed!

Jay GRay­Don AIr­plAy for tHe plAnet Sonic Thrust Records ✪✪✪✪ ✪

This is a sparkling remix of an al­bum that was first re­leased in 1993. For many, Jay Gray­don is the ul­ti­mate gui­tarist, LA ses­sion supremo, song­writer, ar­ranger and pro­ducer, as famed for his work with Steely Dan (‘that’ solo on Peg!) as co-writ­ing hits such as Af­ter The Love Is Gone by Earth, Wind And Fire. Here, not only do you get rich solo tones but also among the songs a great re-work­ing of that EWF clas­sic. With vo­cal­ists like Joseph Wil­liams (Toto) and Bill Cham­plin (Chicago), the mu­sic is pure LA but laced with Steely Dan har­monic savvy. Walk The Wire fea­tures great whammy bar dips; She Just Can’t Make Up Her Mind scream­ing har­mon­ics and snaky jazz-rock runs; and Show Me The Magic has a great swing rhythm un­der­pin­ning his phras­ing. If you love bands like Chicago, Toto and Dan, with killer gui­tar work, this one’s for you!

Rov­inG CRows Bury Me nAkeD Rov­ing Crows Records ✪✪✪✪ ✪

Folk to­day is huge! Solo artists like Kate Rusby and Seth Lake­man, and har­mony groups like The Un­thanks, sit hap­pily along­side the raunchier Bel­low­head and the Mum­fords. Rov­ing Crows have been around eight years but this is their first re­lease in four. Paul O’Neill plays gui­tars and sings, Loz Shaw a host of in­stru­ments in­clud­ing gui­tars and ban­jolina, Caitlin Bar­rett is on fid­dle and vox, while Tim Dow­nesHall drums. The ti­tle track is al­most psy­che­delic with its Sgt Pep­per-like open­ing and Stephen Stills-ish gui­tar licks; New York Love Song is as much Istanbul as the Big Ap­ple, but it’s such an in­fec­tious sound; the ex­cit­ing in­stru­men­tal Fire Sky again mixes Celtic with the Mid­dle East, this time led by Bar­rett’s in­sis­tent fid­dle. Things close with a heart­felt take on Jimmy MacArthy’s beau­ti­ful Ride On, with Bar­rett tak­ing lead vo­cal. We just wish they were down the lo­cal pub tonight!

kRissy Matthews lIve At freAk vAl­ley Proper Records ✪✪✪✪ ✪

Although still just 24, Matthews has been tour­ing for 12 years and writes no-non­sense blues-rockers on life and love. Recorded last April at the Freak Val­ley Fes­ti­val in Ger­many it’s a balls-to-the-wall power-trio fest. There’s no over­dubs, so what you hear is what they played – ‘they’ be­ing Sam We­ston (bass, vo­cals), Max Max­well (drums, vo­cals) and front­man Krissy. With power and swag­ger, he’s a kind of An­gus Young, Gary Moore cross, and from the out­set his con­fi­dence is scary: Feel­ing The Blues’s solo is cer­tainly wor­thy of An­gus, as is that vi­brato! Uni­son gui­tar and vo­cals are great on All Night Long, Krissy’s solo is fast and fran­tic and the band is crisp and tight. The cover of Hen­drix’s Free­dom is a high­light, cul­mi­nat­ing in a rau­cous solo that’s more Gary than Jimi. The nine-minute closer is Bub­bles And The Seven Phones, a song about a late pal, through which Matthews pours all the emo­tion he can. UK dates com­ing soon, so check these guys out if pow­er­ful blues-rock is your thing.

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