Greg Davies is an upcoming UK guitarist who I became aware of at Monkeyfest 2011, performing a great live set with his band the Greg Davies Project, sharing the bill with the likes of Guthrie Govan, Andy James, Alex Hutchings etc.
Greg’s latest CD ‘Wanna Play?‘, completed in May 2011, is entirely self produced. Taking 18 months of dedicated writing and recording, Greg recorded all 15 tracks at home on his 4 track.
The album begins with the track Hazed, a rockin’ opener that rekindles a sound of a bygone era of instrumental guitar with early Satch vibes. That isn’t to say Greg is a clone, far from it, the catchy melodies here have a unique stamp that is Greg’s own.
As Greg states:
I guess my biggest goal with this album was to reach more than just guitar heads… Write catchyish choruses and simple melodies. Plus I’m no Guthrie so really technical pieces aren’t my bag! Also I have come to realise that it is important to play my way… I was raised on rock music so I shall play it because I love it!!!
The fantastically titled ‘Sludge Mouth‘ lays down a deep nasty riff supporting some of these melodies that Greg mentions, as does the heartfelt and laid-back ‘Missing You‘.
Greg fuses various genre defining sounds on the album, for example the album’s title track, Wanna Play?!, begins with a cool sequenced synth part that continues throughout adding textured layers to this fast showstopping shuffle piece. Fuzzy Duck get its groove on with a great funky riff and My Happy Valley alludes to a classic 80s rock ballad vibe.
An album highlight for me has to be Greg’s cover of the iconic ‘Beat It‘ by Michael Jackson, a song I recall from his live performance at Monkeyfest. The main melody line and riffs are all here as well as a rip roaring guitar solo!
‘Wanna Play?’ will be available on Amazon and iTunes soon until then you can purchase a CD by visiting Greg’s Myspace page or Facebook page and contacting him direct. You can also follow Greg on twitter.
Songs from the album and videos can also be checked out at the Greg Davies Project Reverbnation page.
3. Sludge Mouth
4. Missing You
5. Our Day
6. Wanna Play?!
8. My Happy Valley
9. Jimi Mix
10. Good Times
11. Beat It
12. My Sunday Sofa
13. What’s The Problem?
14. Fuzzy Duck
For Fans Of: Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, John 5
Standout tracks: Beat It, Fuzzy Duck
UK Release Date: Available NOW
A culmination of two years work Timeless Hour follows on from Jonas’ successful debut album Sharp Guitars From A Flat Planet and features guest appearances from some of the world’s top players, including the likes of Brett Garsed, Andy James, Mattias Eklundh and the legendary Troy Stetina.
The album’s opening track Rule Of Thumb, quickly sets the scene and vibe for the album with its progtastic sequenced arpeggiated keyboard intro theme, heavy riffs and melodic guitar.
The pace and sonic palette is varied though with the fantastically exotic sounding The Unbreakable, the lovely laid back piano intro and uplifting harmony guitar parts of Chance and acoustic piece Space Walk.
There is obviously some outstanding guitar technical playing on display here which helps build the intensity and excitement of the music but Jonas has a great melodic sense and touch in his playing too, as can be heard on an another album favourite of mine, Farewell, which as an added bonus also features a sublime guest solo from the mighty Brett Garsed!
In fact the quality of guests Jonas has invited to play on this album speaks volumes. Their contributions fit and compliment each song very well. Especially the combination of the phenomenal Andy James and keyboardist Sergey Boykov on Borderline.
Not only did Jonas mix and produce the album but, excluding the guest solos, the entire album, guitars, keyboards, bass and drums were all played and programmed by Jonas, which is an impressive feat in itself! My only personal gripe is with the sound of the programmed drums, which for me sit a little too far back in the mix. A little big bigger and splashier and the album would sound even more epic.
An eclectic mix of stunning modern guitar work that fuses elements of Rock, Fusion, Prog and Metal Timeless Hour will appeal to lovers of intense modern instrumental guitar music.
Check out Jonas’ Facebook page for audio previews and much more.
1. Rules Of Thumb (featuring Marcel Coenen)
2. Debate (featuring Mattias IA Eklundh)
3. All Night Pass
4. The Unbreakable (featuring Mischa Mang, Troy Stetina and Thorsten Koehne)
7. Farewell (featuring Brett Garsed)
8. Borderline (featuring Andy James and Mats Haugen)
10. My Mind Is Up
For Fans Of: Dream Theater, Marco Sfogli, Andy James
Standout tracks: The Unbreakable, Farewell
UK Release Date: Available NOW
Jonas has recently been added to the impressive roster at jamtrackcentral.com, check out this video of him playing Zenith from his first album Sharp Guitars From A Flat Planet:
The package features a detailed 16 page booklet, an HD video lesson going through 10 great licks in detail with close ups of both right and left hands, audio of each of those licks as well as five great jam tracks.
The majority of the juicy lesson material of this lesson package is in the PDF booklet which goes through various approaches Tom uses to add a chromatic flavour to his playing. Each approach is explained in a clear and useful manner with example scale diagrams and licks to reinforce your learning.
At the end of the booklet Tom provides tablature for 10 awesome licks with a detailed analysis of each lick outlining the theoretical concepts involved, giving some great real world examples of the concepts discussed previously.
If that wasn’t enough each of the 10 licks is demonstrated in the accompanying video lesson. In the video Tom goes through each lick at full speed, so you can hear the exact phrasing, then at a slower speed with close up shots.
For each lick’s unique harmonic context Tom has also provided five great chord vamp backings for you to try out these licks for yourself or even just to jam over trying out the chromatic concepts covered in the lesson.
Tom has again come up with a great quality lesson package that will appeal to players looking of that extra chromatic fusion and jazzy ‘spice’ to their playing.
The package is available from Tom’s website priced $25, so check it out now!
The album features contributions from a hand picked line-up all, of which are guitar legends in their own right, including Steve Lukather, Billy Gibbons, Slash, Zakk Wylde and Joe Bonamassa.
The album itself is a mix of originals and covers of blues-rock and ballad songs which showcases West’s earthy vocals and characteristic playing.
The album opens up with One More Drink For The Road a great boogie track that rolls along and features some customary great guitar work from Steve Lukather.
The following track Mud Flap Momma keeps the great hard rocking vibe going with a very cool slide guitar riff based track that features Slash on guest guitar duties. Definitely a fave on the album for me.
Another album favourite is the cover of the blues classic Third Degree which rocks things up a little with West’s gritty vocals and great complimentary guitar work and vocals from Joe Bonamassa.
The song Standing On A Higher Ground was brought into the studio by Billy Gibbons, a long time friend of West’s, who met on ZZ Top’s first major tour when the Top got a big break opening for Mountain. The song was initially incomplete but working with West and producer Fabrizio Grossi they finalised the song and recorded it live together in the same Los Angeles studio.
I’m in total agreement with Leslie West who says “Only Billy Gibbons can come up with am intro that sounds like Hendrix and ZZ Top joined at the hip”. There’s no mistaking the great Billy Gibbons!
Zakk Wylde joins West on the rocking Nothing’s Changed, another album highlight. Zakk Wylde, like Slash, cites West as an influence, even affectionately referring to West as ‘Dad’, so it’s great to hear Zakk’s trademark style come through on this track. It sounds like they had great fun trading licks.
Unusual Suspects should appeal to fans of classic boogie-rock and is an enjoyable listen which shows again how great the marriage of rocking guitars and blues can be!
As West says “As a player, my motto is all about knowing how much to play without playing too much”.
Unusual Suspects is available now Provogue Records.
1. One More Drink for the Road (Featuring: Steve Lukather)
2. Mud Flap Momma (Featuring: Slash)
3. To the Moon
4. Standing on Higher Ground (Featuring: Billy Gibbons)
5. Third Degree (Featuring: Joe Bonamassa)
7. Nothing’s Changed (Featuring: Zakk Wylde)
8. I Feel Fine
9. Love You Forever
10. My Gravity
11. The Party’s Over (Featuring: Slash and Zakk Wylde)
12. I Don’t Know “The Beetlejuice Song” (Featuring: Richard Christy)
For Fans Of: Mountain, ZZ Top, Walter Trout, Black Country Communion, Hard Rocking Blues
Standout tracks: One More Drink For The Road, Mud Flap Momma, Third Degree and Nothing’s Changed
UK Release Date: Monday 19th September.
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