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What's On Your Mind?

23.4.14

Canvas Solaris


Canvas Solaris - Sublimation - 2004 - Tribunal

...the dizzying fray of killer compositions like "Cosmopolysyndeton" and "When Solar Winds Collide" won't help alleviate the assumption that Canvas Solaris are snooty, intellectual muso types who are too smart for their own good and the consumer's understanding. Maybe? Maybe not? But every once in a while, metal needs an IQ boost to reaffirm its vitality in the face of cliches and close-mindedness, doesn't it? - TERRORIZER

Canvas Solaris will surely enjoy exponential success with Sublimation, a prime exemplar of technical metal for the ages. - EXCLAIM!

...to the mainstream audiences this album will be far too much to understand as it lacks the tedious nu-metalcore formulaics. But to those who appreciate the art form of intricate and imaginative metal, you need look no further. - THE PRP

...in today's sadly self-gratifying prog metal market where players are looking for individual attention rather than worrying about the product on a whole, Canvas Solaris show that they have some integrity (both musically and personally). What they sacrifice from not showing off they make up for with their virtuous songwriting. - INTO OBSCURITY

Sure it’s mind-bendingly original and overtly progressive but can an instrumental album have the kind of bite that generates enough interest to repeatedly listen to it? The answer is a resounding yes. - SMOTHER.NET

This disc is far from crushing, but every note the band plays is captivating and delivered with the seeming ease that only a true pro can feign...The music on this CD is so cool and at the same time so far beyond the realm of “progressive” it’s not even funny. - DEADTIDE.COM

Canvas Solaris keep it complicated but stay coherent in their style while being on another plane of musical existence...The album through and through is an amazing trip that will make one want to learn to play an instrument or at least give one a whole new appreciation for music. - RIFT ROCK

This is a top metal album of 2004 for me. I recommend this to fans of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Cancer Conspiracy and metalcore fans that are looking to enjoy something a little different than your average two-chord breakdown. - PIVOTAL RAGE

Its a damn shame a vast majority will simply hear this album one time and miss the chance to broaden their musical horizons. To those looking to get lost in their own bright utopia: Canvas Solaris is the drug of choice. - SIX12

SPATIAL/DESIGN OVERVIEW - Probably the most non-traditional signing to Tribunal Records yet. Statesboro, Georgia’s CANVAS SOLARIS could be classified as “thinking man’s metal”. Their debut, Spatial/Design, is perplexing technical metal bursting with way too many musical acrobatics to even bother with vocals, it is genius-level stuff. We guarantee it will blow your mind. The four spacey and ultra complex tracks have a running time of over 25 minutes and cover the gamut of metal’s many facets. This young trio have learned their lessons well. Their masters are Spiral Architect, Watchtower, Cynic and King Crimson. Their peers are few. Canvas Solaris stands alone. © http://tribunalrecords.bigcartel.com/product/canvas-solaris-sublimation-redux

This is a new band from the town of Statesboro, Georgia. They are a 3 member band with: Nathan Sapp on lead and rhythm guitars,6 and 12 string acoustic guitars, Micromoog, Yamaha cs60 synthesizers.Ben Simpkins on rhythm and lead guitars, bass guitar, 12 string acoustic guitar. Hunter Ginn on djembe, table drums, congas, shekere. There are 7 songs and the time lasts about 39 minutes. Musically these guys are an instrumental heavy technical metal band with some jazzy interludes/influences. Being instrumental they rely on dynamics and speed to make the songs interesting, oh and also super playing ability. These guys can play with the utmost speed, agility and wank ability/chops of almost any band out there. These guys are very “tasty”. Musically they sound like a lot of bands such as Spiral Architect, King Crimson, the fucking champs, Cynic, and Behold the Arctopus. The songs all have lots of interesting things going on. Most are begun with finger picked intros and also with synth efx to add some differentness. The guys can play fast runs or slow down and play for effect and “feel”. The drums and bass are really well recorded and together the band is really tight and well rehearsed. One thing they do is that they “name” their solos within the songs. I think they are the only ones I know of that does this. Arranging is very good, these guys mix acoustic guitars with electrics and very tasty synth burps and bleeps as well. The drummer is excellent as he uses congas and other percussion for a very dramatic effect on some of the songs such as “When solar winds collide”. The drummer Hunter, also throws in some tribal drums and bells into the song “Sublimation” for an Indian feel that makes this one my favorite tunes on this cd. The electric guitar playing is done very tastefully. They mix lots of clean tones with some varied types of distortion (Mesa to Marshall) to change the sounds so as to always make for an interesting mix. The crunchy, heavy bits and riffing are all over the place but not a focus of the music and when they are heard make the music more visceral and powerful. This is a very good release of technical modern metal. The only thing that may be missing is more or better melodies within the songs so as to make them memorable for listeners. The changes in speed and the variations in dynamics are very cool but are not enough to make this a great Cd. – from Technical Metal Jazzy madness - 85% © yogibear, December 30th, 2004 © http://www.metal-archives.com/reviews/Canvas_Solaris/Sublimation/48622/

If you've read my fairly brief review of Canvas Solaris' previous release, the Spatial/Design EP [http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/1330/Canvas-Solaris-Spatial-Design/] (I'd suggest doing so before reading this), you'll know vaguely what I thought of it; potential for brilliance, which managed to end up somewhat less than brilliant. Well this is where that potential is put to much better use. Canvas Solaris started off some five years ago as a four-piece group, with a vocalist and everything. Early demos (apparently) laid the blueprint for what the band was about; complex, technical music with a great focus on actually being good to listen to, with highly developed conceptual elements to the song titles, liner notes and, presumably, lyrics. However, lineup changes soon occurred which reduced them to a trio, and although Nathan filled in on vocals for a while, they soon abandoned that in favour of a fully instrumental approach. And so they have remained since. Before we get to the actual music, it's worth noting how much of an improvementSublimation is over Spatial/Design in other ways. The cover art, for one, is great (call me shallow if you like, but these things matter). The nebula-style cover art of Spatial/Designwas all well and good, but the "blue fire" design (it's actually space, again) here is just awesome. The track names, too, strike me as a great improvement. They're just as pretentious, but they're more memorable, and as before, they're not just randomly pretentious - they have meanings behind them. Whether Canvas Solaris write songs based on concepts or crowbar the concepts they're interested in into already written songs is unknown to me, but whichever it is, the concepts themselves are certainly given adequate thought. I won't even begin discussing them here, since even a brief overview would probably lead to several thousand words of talking about literary theory and astrology; the band's favoured subjects of thought. My favourite title here would be Ekstatik Parataxis (The New Measure), especially having snooped around the apparent background to it. If Canvas Solaris ever get even remotely well-known, I hope they release a big boxed set, full of music and essays and things. Anyway, music, that's what we're here for. The leaps and bounds taken onward from the Canvas Solaris of the Spatial/Design EP, especially considering the short time between the two releases (18 months, at most), are incredible. Each band member seems to have learnt to play about six new instruments (and, from interviews I've been reading, are still learning even more. Especially Hunter), and the whole songwriting process seems to have been pushed into overdrive. The most immediate comparisons to be made are Cynic and, especially, Gordian Knot. Maybe also Spastic Ink, although, excellent as Ink Complete is, there is often the feeling that one member or t'other is just showing off, most often Ron on guitar. Here, there isn't anything like that, the whole seems to be considered by concensus more important than any individual part. The comparison to Cynic/Gordian Knot is also somewhat less than perfect, though; Canvas Solaris are more aggressive. Rather than taking so many cues from fusion, as the aforementioned bands tend to, the primary metal influences are (in their own words) "mid-period Carcass, Voivod, "Need to Control"-era Brutal Truth, "Morbid Reality"-era Hexx and Godflesh". By the same token, though, since then they've changed slightly so that they don't play aggressively (or in ultra-complex mode) non-stop; they like to give the songs some dynamic, some room to breathe. To play in more than one way, basically. This means they may not appeal to people who demand their technical metal be non-stop, or who want metal to be 100% aggressive, 100% of the time. But who really cares what people like that think anyway? The result is an album that is basically just gorgeous and engaging throughout. When Solar Winds Collide is one of the best songs, instrumental or not, I've ever heard. Thinking back to improvements outside of the music, another one now springs to mind - the title. In the context of the music, Sublimation is the best title they could have chosen, because that is what has occurred. In real Nietzschean fashion, they have sublimated their aggressive tendencies into a more dynamic, more fulfilling, and ultimately finer form of art. - 4.5 superb Review by & © Bartender EMERITUS January 16th, 2005 © 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/1331/Canvas-Solaris-Sublimation/

Outstanding instrumental technical, jazz-inspired metal progressive music from the Statesboro, Georgia based Canvas Solaris and HR by A.O.O.F.C Listen to Canvas Solaris' "Irradiance" album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 90.5 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Cosmopolysyndeton 3:22
2 Spheres in Design 4:28
3 When Solar Winds Collide 7:33
4 Cyclotron Emission 3:51
5 Syzygial Epiphany 6:21
6 Ekstatik Parataxis (The New Measure) 5:01
7 Sublimation 8:14

All tracks composed by Sapp, Simpkins, & Ginn

MUSICIANS

Nathan Sapp - Guitar [Lead And Rhythm], Synthesizer [Guitar, Micromoog, Yamaha Cs 60], Acoustic Guitar [6 And 12 String]
Ben Simpkins - Guitar [Rhythm And Lead], Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitar [12 String]
Hunter Ginn - Drums, Goblet Drum [Doumbek], Djembe, Percussion [Table Drums], Congas, Shekere

BIO (WIKI)

Canvas Solaris were an American progressive metal band from Statesboro, Georgia, formed in 1999, and disbanded in 2011.Though they first played with vocals, they moved on to instrumental, drawing influence from bands as diverse as Cynic, Rush, King Crimson, Death, Watchtower, and The Mars Volta. Hunter Ginn (drums), Nathan Sapp (guitar), and Jimmy McCall (bass) formed Canvas Solaris in 1999 in Statesboro, Georgia. Brad Jeffcoat joined the band to serve as a vocalist. At this point, the band was playing mainly technical death metal, influenced by bands like Voivod and Carcass. They recorded two untitled demos of four songs each and toured in South Carolina for several years before Jeffcoat and McCall both left the band. Ben Simpkins joined as a second guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist, the band decided to drop vocals entirely, and they put out the EP Spatial/Design in 2003 on Tribunal Records. A year later, in 2004, they released their first full-length album, Sublimation. In February 2005, the band signed onto Sensory Records, where they remain today, and put out their second full-length album, Penumbra Diffuse in 2006. Their next album, 2007's Cortical Tectonics, would be the last to feature Ben Simpkins on guitar, bass, and keyboards. Chris Rushing, Donnie Smith, and Gael Pirlot on guitar, keys, and bass respectively, and the band put out The Atomized Dream in 2008. Following its release, they toured with Dysrhythmia and Behold... The Arctopus. The band released Irradiance in 2010. Since disbanding in 2011, the band have formed The Universe Divide and The Burden of Existence with vocalist Narissa Wolke (releasing a self-titled album. In 2013, the band announced a reunion with a new album in the works. The album is anticipated to be released in 2014 and funded independently via a public fundraiser website.

22.4.14

Mike Orlando


Mike Orlando - Sonic Stomp II - 2010 - Sonic Stomp Music

Your gonna give your guitar a nervous breakdown, lol..I almost took my lip and wrapped it around my head…Absolutely Amazing!" - Steve Vai

To say that Mike`s playing is intense is an understatement. He manages to showcase his monstrous technique, great command and killer chops in the context of cool tunes and does it all with a really nice sense of musicality. - Joe Stump

Michael has made the most extreme guitar album since Jason Becker’s Perpetual Burn. His death defying runs and techniques take his compositions into the next universe….should be the next guest on the next G3 tour. - Nick J. Hinton - Virtuosa Magazine-UK

American guitarist Mike Orlando was in the top ten finalists for Guitar Player magazine’s Guitar Superstar of the Year in 2008 and won Guitar Player magazine's Superstar Of The Year award in 2009. He has worked with musicians like Zakk Wylde and Bumblefoot and has worked with Symphony X vocalist, Russell Allen, on a project called Adrenaline Mob. His first solo album, “Sonic Stomp”, was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and the follow-up album, “Sonic Stomp II” includes guest players Mike Romeo, Mike Pinella, Gary Hoey, the late Shane Gibson, Joe Stump, John Macaluso, and Lenny Rocillo. Guitar prowess is put before compositional skills, but nevertheless, Mike Orlando is a hugely talented guitarist and if you like intense high calibre shredding, you may find it hard not to like and admire this album. Listen to Mike’s “Sonic Stomp” album and read an interview with him @ http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/interview-guitarist-mike-orlando-talks-adrenaline-mob-mike-portnoy-533528/ [Tracks @ 239-304 Kbps: File size = 162 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Throwdown 4:45
2. Dig It 5:24
3. Burn 4:15
4. Cirque De Insanity 4:10
5. Shaga Duga 5:03
6. A Wicked Bizzaa Guitaa (feat. Gary Hoey & Joe Stump) 7:48
7. A Vision of You (feat. Mike Pinella of Symphony X) 7:36
8. Tapped Out 5:12
9. My Black Cat Moaned 7:03
10. A Sitting Ovation 3:53
11. Full Speed X (feat. Michael Romeo of Symphony X) 5:14
12. The Game Show 4:29
13. Sonically Stomped (feat. Shane Gibson of Korn) 5:23
14. Circles In Squares 8:45

All tracks composed by Mike Orlando

MUSICIANS

Mike Orlando – Guitars, Bass
Gary Hoey, Joe Stump, Shane Gibson, Mike Romeo – Guitar
Lenny Rocillo – Bass
Mike Pinella – Piano, Keyboards
John Macaluso – Drums

BIO

Mike Orlando is a founding member of the explosive new supergroup ADRENALINE MOB. The Line-up includes vocalist extraordinare Russell Allen (Symphony X) & metal giants Disturbed bassist John Moyer. The band released their debut album Omerta on Elm City Music/EMI in March 2012. They’ve completed multiple US Tours, a run w/Godsmack & taken the band across EU/UK w/stops at major festivals such as Sweden Rock, Graspop, Bospop & Gods of Metal. They’ve just recently completed a South American run w/Halestorm in support of their latest release Coverta. A bone crushing collection of some of the bands favorite classic rock tunes. The band has begun tracking their follow up to Omerta which will be released in early 2014 with a worldwide tour to follow. Adrenaline Mob’s debut release Omerta landed Top 5 on Billboards Rock Album Charts & #62 on Billboard’s Top 200 it’s 1st week of release in March 2012. Mike Orlando & Russell Allen were featured guests on VH1 Classic’s Season 11 premiere of that “That Metal Show”. Mike is also a member of the newly formed hard rock supergroup TRED which features rock royalty & legends bassist Rudy Sarzo (Ozzy,Whitesnake,Dio,Quiet Riot), drummer AJ Pero (Twisted Sister) & Tim “Ripper” Owens (Judas Priest, Iced Earth, Dio Disciples..). They are currently recording their debut album for a mid to late 2014 release & tour! He also fronts Mike Orlando’s Sonic Stomp Instrumental Band and has released his debut Instrumental Cd Sonic Stomp in 2007. The Cd which has achieved worldwide critical acclaim contains 12 tracks which take the listener from raging over the top extreme rock guitar playing with sheer finesse and lightening speed to beautiful ballads with great emotional feel and everything in between In November 2010 Mike released the follow-up Cd, Sonic Stomp II which took Mike’s playing & composing to a complete other level of virtuosity & overall extreme command of the instrument. A number of phenomenal guest artists are featured on Sonic Stomp II which include: Michael Romeo (Symphony X), Shane Gibson (Korn), Gary Hoey, Mike Pinella (Symphony X) and Joe Stump. Sonic Stomp II also features drummer extraordinare John Macaluso (Yngwie Malmsteen,TNT, James Labrie-Dream Theater, Tony Harnell, Ark..). Mike’s latest release Sonic Stomp II is available on the world famous ROCKBAND Game! Mike was also a featured guitarist on Magna Carta’s February 10, 2009 release “Guitars That Ate My Brain”, which features 10 of some of metals premier guitarists. As owner of his own recording studio, Sonic Stomp Studios, he handles everything from engineering, producing, mixing & mastering. All this can be heard on his debut Cd Sonic Stomp and follow up Sonic Stomp II as well as tracking & engineering Adrenaline Mob’s Omerta & mixing/mastering their latest release Coverta. Mike is also engineering, mixing & mastering the new upcoming Adrenaline Mob album at Sonic Stomp Studios, which is slated for an early 2014 release. Mike proudly endorses: Marshall Amplification, GHS Strings, Rocktron, Line 6 Wireless Systems and Shredneck products. He is one of the main featured artists on the GHS Strings and Rocktron sites performing many of the Rocktron audio clips including the Tri-Wah, Black Cat Moan, The Banshee Talkbox. Cyborg Delay, Cyborg Reverb, and mostly all audio clips for Utopia G100, Utopia G200 & G300 Utopia 300 as well as the entire new line of Rocktron Boutique Pedals & Reaction Series Pedals! In addition he proudly endorses DiMarzio pickups & products. For electrics he endorses the legendary Charvel/Jackson Guitars & his acoustic guitar of choice is the one & only Ovation Guitars. Mike has filmed numerous videos for Ovation Guitars, GHS/Rocktron, Shredneck & has recently filmed a new Charvel Guitar Live in Studio Video Promo. See all of Mike’s video’s @ www.youtube.com/mikeorlandomusic. Mike has also been given the honor of receiving his own signature products as well. The Rocktron Mike Orlando Signature Wah Pedal and Mike Orlando Signature Shredneck Model. He has been featured in Guitar World Magazines Dvd’s & also was given the honor of being selected as a Top Finalist Worldwide for Guitar Player Magazine’s Guitar Superstar of the Year 2008 from thousands of passionate guitarists. Mike has been a main stay performer at NAMM and held signings for GHS and Rocktron & Charvel Guitars since 2006. He has performed daily every year at NAMM in Anaheim,Calif. since 2006 for Eleca International and Shredneck, GHS Strings & Rocktron Products, ZZYZX Snap Jack Cables & has also performed at the Fender Custom Shop Party. He was also a featured performer at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt,Germany & Music China in Shanghai in 2009 & 2010 for ZZYZX Snap Jack Cables, GHS Strings , Rocktron, Shredneck and Eleca International. Mike has enjoyed multiple sold out Sonic Stomp Tours across China & Japan in 2009 & 2010 performing to thousands of fans and has also filmed his first 30 minute Feature DVD for Young Guitar Magazine in Japan which came out in July 2010. © 2014 DILAPIDATED © http://www.mikeorlandomusic.com/?page_id=26

21.4.14

Steely Dan


Steely Dan feat. Larry Carlton - The Royal Scam Night (September 3rd, 2009) Chicago Theater, Chicago, IL - 2012 - PZJ

Steely Dan recently finished up a four-night run at the historic Chicago Theatre in which they played Aja (8/31), Gaucho (9/1) and The Royal Scam (9/3) in their entirety (the 9/4 show featured Internet requests). I was fortunate enough to be in the house for The Royal Scam along with my buddy Furr. We’d seen Steely Dan in the late-90′s in the Bay Area, and this show seemed like a good chance recapture our drunken, silly mojo from years gone by. We weren’t disappointed. It’s worth noting that this show capped a whirlwind day that saw Furr and I drinking beer in Wrigley Field, browsing through record stores, eating hamburgers in an upscale Chicago eatery, and generally trying to recreate the non-stop fun of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Unfortunately, neither of us was able to sing ‘Danke Schoen’ on a moving float during a parade – but on the upside, no expensive vintage automobiles were destroyed either. At any rate, we had just showed up and were excusing our way down the aisle to get to our seats when the house lights dimmed and the band came on. Steely Dan stopped touring back in the early 80′s because they couldn’t faithfully recreate their elaborately recorded albums. Guitarist Walter Becker and keyboardist Donald Fagen are noted perfectionists, so it wasn’t surprising to see them send a dozen musicians on stage to help them bring The Royal Scam to life. The band consisted of a four-piece horn section (tenor & alto sax, trumpet and trombone), three female backup singers, bass and drums, two guitarists (including Larry Carlton, who played on many of their albums) and a pianist (in addition to Fagen on keyboards). Clearly these guys weren’t fooling around. Steely Dan is often mistaken for a wimpy pop group, but behind their perfectly polished exterior beats the heart of a vicious punk band. The Royal Scam is perhaps their angriest album, and the venom in the title track is proof of their passive aggression. Of course, their songs are literary vehicles full of hard luck characters and off-beat references. No band this side of the Velvet Underground so consistently reached into the gutter to find writing material, and no single album captures this angle of Steely Dan better than The Royal Scam. The show opened with a Becker & Fagen-less instrumental jazz interlude that allowed the band to show off its considerable chops, before Becker & Fagen joined the group and launched into ‘Kid Charlemagne’. Seeing an album live in its entirety is cool for many reasons, but best among them might be the little musical accents that get lost on LP. From the trombone in ‘Sign In Stranger’ to Carlton’s hot licks throughout to Fagen pawing his keyboard like a big bear and throwing his head around like Ray Charles, there was a lot to absorb and observe during this concert. Except for a limp version of ‘The Fez’ (Becker, Fagen and Carlton thought little enough of the tune that they left the stage – c’mon fellas, the album’s only 9 songs long!) this was an outstanding rendering of a classic 70′s album. Of course, after they were done with The Royal Scam, they played another dozen gems from their extensive catalog. Highlights included the backup singers taking lead vocals on a sultry version of ‘Dirty Work’ and Fagen rocking the melodica on a princely version of ‘Aja’. It was an evening of luckless pedestrians, Turkish union dues, and dynamite. And the crowd stood and cheered… ***** © http://dkpresents.wordpress.com/category/concert-reviews/

Definitely one of The Dan's best live concerts from the 2000's. There have been many far worse soundboard recordings, but this one is more distinct with less audience noise during the performance. The band play the entire “Royal Scam” album with a few old favourites thrown in. On the night, Donald Fagen's voice was much better than on other concerts from around the same period. Walter doesn't sing, but his playing is excellent. Jon Herington and Larry Carlton's playing is superb. There are some incredible keyboards from Jim Beard. The horns are amazing, and Carolyn Leonhart-Escoffery, Catherine Russell, and Tawatha Agee's brilliant vocals carry some of the songs off in great style, and really help out Donald Fagen on some of the notes. On some tunes Donald leaves the vocals entirely up to the girls. All in all, an amazing concert from "Mr. Stevie Dan" & Co., and absolutely worth hearing. Every song is a classic. This is a 2xCD set and a very large file. [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 291 Mb] = Album is also divided into two rar files = 2 x Discs: Pt 1 (Disc 1 = 120 Mb, & Pt 2 (Disc 2 = 170 Mb]

DISC 1

1. Teenies Blues
2. Kid Charlemagne
3. The Caves Of Altamira
4. Don't Take Me Alive
5. Sign In Stranger
6. The Fez
7. Green Earrings
8. Haitian Divorce
9. Everything You Did
10. The Royal Scam

DISC 2

1. Hey Nineteen
2. Dirty Work
3. Black Friday
4. I Got The News
5. Aja
6. Parker's Band
7. Live Wire
8. Peg
9. Third World Man
10. Piano Intro / Josie
11. My Old School
12. Reelin' In The Years
13. Last Tango In Paris

All tracks composed by Becker & Fagen except "Teenie's Blues" composed by Oliver Nelson, "Live Wire" by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, & Edward Holland, Jr., and "Last Tango In Paris" by Gato Barbieri

MUSICIANS

Walter Becker - Guitar
Jon Herington - Guitar
Larry Carlton - Guitar
Freddie Washington - Fender Bass
Donald Fagen - Fender Rhodes, Yamaha Melodica, Vocals
Jim Beard - Piano
Keith Carlock - Drums
Walt Weiskopf - Tenor Saxophone
Roger Rosenburg - Baritone Saxophone
Michael Leonhart - Trumpet
Jim Pugh - Trombone
Catherine Russell - Vocals
Carolyn Leonhart Escoffery - Vocals
Tawatha Agee - Vocals

20.4.14

Rob Balducci


Rob Balducci - Mantra - 2001 - Favored Nations

“ Rob is an excellent guitarist… I’ve always had his CDs around and I am waiting for him to become the next big guitar player ” - Joe Satriani

“There are two things that make an effective musician, one is the technical ability to perform on the instrument and the second is an emotional investment in what you are playing. Rob has a really good equilibrium for the technical side of things and the emotional investment” -Steve Vai

"Hummable shred, what a concept." Indeed. That was how Guitar World Magazine described Rob Balducci's debut CD "Balance". The recent release Mantra from New York guitar virtuoso Balducci keeps this tradition alive, yet offers so much more. On Mantra, Rob Balducci comes into his own. His songwriting style, multi-layered instrumental, has you believing that the guitar is his voice. There is enough guitar playing on this record to satisfy all fans of the genre, and the songs are so melodic that even if you are not a musician you will be enthralled by the melodies and moods he creates. Prepare yourself for a roller coaster ride of emotions as Mantra takes you on a guided tour through Balducci's psyche exploring all the facets of humanity, regardless of how light or how dark. The time of guitar driven music is now and Rob Balducci's recordings announce the return of the axe. © Guitar9http://guitargods.altervista.org/Balducci_Rob.htm

Rob Balducci is a Guitar Player/Composer from New York who has received rave reviews for his guitar playing and well crafted songs throughout the world from prestigious publications such as Guitar World, Guitar Magazine, Young Guitar, Player Magazine etc....He has been compared to John Petrucci, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Zakk Wylde and others. The Rob Balducci Band, featuring Anthony Paganini on bass and Christopher Heinz on drums has performed with The Steve Morse Band, Peter Frampton, Joe Walsh and more. Rob's undeniable talent has earned him endorsements by Ibanez, D'Addario, DiMarzio, Eventide, Mesa Boogie, Soldano, Morley and D’andrea. Rob is a unique player with awesome tone. He has an outstanding compositional sense and he creates music, not guitar riffery. “Mantra” is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Rob’s great “The Color Of Light” album and check out his “Balance” album and “Violet Horizon” album with special guests Guthrie Govan and Dave Weiner. Support real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 108.2 Mb]

TRACKS

1 The Dance 5:12
2 Amadeo 3:58
3 Fear 4:24
4 Mantra 4:36
5 The Crimson King 4:42
6 My Last Good-Bye 4:27
7 Eve 3:31
8 Pressure 3:13
9 Kendra Lynn 00:37
10 Reckless 3:57
11 The Burning Man 4:54
12 No Mystery (Bonus Track) 3:32

All tracks composed by Rob Balducci

MUSICIANS

Rob Balducci - Guitar
Anthony Paganini - Bass
Christopher Heinz – Drums

BIO

A native of New York, Rob Balducci has defined himself as a guitarist, musician, composer and one of the most sought after instructors in New York. Balducci’s music is drenched in layers of sonic colors, each representing a tangible emotion, desire, depth, feeling, thought and mood. Rob said "There's this cliche that instrumental guitar music has gotten to be too much of a vehicle for soloing and showing off technique. That's completely the opposite of what I'm trying to do. My music is really like vocal songs with the guitar as the vocals.” Guitar World said after hearing Balducci’s debut CD “ Hum-able Shred! What a concept.” “ Rob is an excellent guitarist… I’ve always had his CDs around and I am waiting for him to become the next big guitar player ” - Joe Satriani “ Rob is a great player and is as dedicated to his work as one can get and it shows in the construction of his audio emotions”- Steve Vai Having played guitar for the past 24 years, Rob spent years dedicated to mastering his instrument. These well-spent years of woodshedding, and perfecting his technique would pay off handsomely. In 1990, Balducci would go on to win a local contest sponsored by Guitar For The Practicing Musician proclaiming him as New York's best guitarist. Balducci also furthered his six-string education, earning a degree in music performance and theory from Five Towns College. Balducci's debut CD, 1995's BALANCE distributed through Sony Music reaped unanimous praise from press and guitar enthusiasts alike heralding this promising new talent. After his debut CD Balance, Rob worked on new material and starting shopping his music to record companies. The new CD was sent to Steve Vai in hopes of Steve wanting to release it on his new record label Favored Nations Entertainment. “Favored Nations was created with the intent of bringing music that's energetic and emotional, with performances by artists of the highest caliber. The artists signed to Favored Nations are a unique, dedicated breed that have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments – Steve Vai “ Vai signed Balducci to Favored Nations and released Mantra and The Color Of Light CDs worldwide. Balducci’s newest 2009 Favored Nations CD is titled Violet Horizon and features 15 new tracks of his best work to date with special guest appearances by Guthrie Govan and Dave Weiner. 2009 has been a busy year, not only has Balducci recorded Violet Horizon he also collaborated with Bassist Randy Coven and drummer John Macaluso on a new CD that will be coming out on BHP/NuGroove records. The CD features songs written by Randy, Rob and John and is produced by Emmy Award winning producer Brian Tarquin. Joining Rob on this CD is fellow guitar players Steve Vai, Leslie West and many more…. Rob is currently working on his debut instructional DVD which will be released through The Rock House Method company. His stellar guitar stylings can also be heard on "Rewired: A Tribute To Jeff Beck," "Crushing Days: A Tribute To Joe Satriani" and a salute to Carlos Santana. Rob Balducci has the pleasure of working with and endorsing Ibanez Guitars, Cornford Amps, Intellitouch tuners, D’Addario Strings, Dimarzio Pick-ups, George L’s cables, Morley pedals, Keeley Pedals, Xotic pedals, Dunlop, Maxon and performs clinics around the world in support of these companies. The musical community has also taken notice of this guitar giant, with scores of global publications loudly singing his praises (most notably Guitarist UK, Guitar World, Young Guitar, and Burn). What remains constant about Rob Balducci is his intoxicating cinematic scope of sounds, skin-tight arrangements and extraordinary six-string dexterity. Music is a highly personal experience for each and every listener, a uniquely exotic adventure conjuring up a kaleidoscope of different emotions and feelings. Like a master snake charmer, Balducci's music seduces, inspires, challenges, and ultimately takes you onto a new dimension of light and shade and into the " Violet Horizon ". © Facebook 2014 https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rob-Balducci-Band/48340240834?id=48340240834&sk=info

19.4.14

Milan Polak


Milan Polak ‎- Dreamscapes - 2005 - Lion Music

Acclaimed as one of the most talented guitar player in Austria, Milan Polak’s “Dreamscape” album showcases the multi talented man. Like other modern guitar heroes, Polak let his talent shine not only by an excess of technicality, but more by a true ability of letting feelings flow through his music, from the fast guitar riffs to the slow and highly emotional solos. But let not be fooled by this description. Polak knows how to play technical guitar parts and also, how to incorporate other counties musical influences in his music, like the highly addictive “Spanish Romance” track. I will leave it to you to discover from where this song gets its influences from. There is nothing more that can be said about this kind of musicians. They are true professionals of their instruments and while they enjoy writing articles in acclaimed magazines and teach their instruments to future guitar heroes, it is with this kind of medium that they excel the most in showcasing their true guitar talent. (Online November 26, 2005) © 2000-2013 The Metal Observer. All rights reserved http://www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=8797

Milan Polak's Dreamscapes is a very interesting instrumental album on the Finnish Lion Music label, with something for everyone finding its way on to this 13-song adventure. The tune "4 A.M." is jazz-flavored flamenco guitar that Muzak stations of old would have adored. It's beautiful and lulls the unaware listener, who will be jolted when the metallic "Shadowdance" follows, resplendent in Black Sabbath style riffs -- Polak having studied the work of original Ozzy guitarist, the late Randy Rhoades. It could be Sabbath merged with a jazzy version of Deep Purple in their Perfect Strangers period. So very different from the pretty acoustics of "Contrapunctus III," just two songs before it, which could fit nicely into a Tangerine Dream set -- a band Milan Polak toured with as guitarist. As a latter day musician for the late Austrian star Falco, of "Rock Me Amadeus" fame, one can understand the diverging styles on this impressive disc. The album opener, "Panic Room," is hardly an indication of what's inside -- the music is as varied as the life of the man magazines have called "the most talented guitarist of Austria." The titles themselves seem to come from American movies: "Panic Room" and "Joyride," the former a charging hard rocker which shifts genres, the latter a superb pop song which, with some lyrics, could be a hit for a reconstituted Bachman Turner Overdrive (their lighter and more accessible side), or even Todd Rundgren. Polak's life, detailed on his web page as having been lived in Korea, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Austria, Germany, Singapore, Italy and the U.S.A., certainly is reflected in the multiple musical episodes exhibited here. The only "voice" appearing on the album is the telephone call from an alleged groupie which opens up "Girlfriends," a solid progressive pop tune with big-hit potential. "Dreamscapes" is Tangerine Dream dropping the ostentatious synth air and the hard rock -- but you won't hear that in the sound -- so very different from their wanderings, the vibe is more in the spirit of the performance. Again things change with "Straight Ahead" (not the Hendrix tune from First Rays of the New Rising Sun ), which is, as the title says, straight-ahead. "Sometimes I Still Miss You" closes things out with an eerie majesty, a fitting conclusion to a very well-planned and produced collection of ideas. Milan Polak is an artist to watch very closely; an imaginative composer with potential to bring the instrumental back into vogue. © Joe Viglione © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved

Milan Polak is a name I’m unfamiliar with which is unsurprising seeing as I don’t generally like instrumental music, and at first glance, he seems to be one of those guitar prodigies that Lion Music and Shrapnel Records love so much. Sure enough, DREAMSCAPES has been released by Lion Music. Anyway, Milan Polak is no new upstart guitarist, no, he has been around for quite some time doing his thing, attending school at the Schubert Jazz Conservatory, as well as the American Institute of Music back in 1991. The guy has credentials, that much is sure. His metal pedigree comes from the years he spent playing with a wide variety of musicians, ranging from Dimebag Darrell, Marty Friedman, Jeff Waters, and members of G ‘N R. For his sake, we’ll just overlook the fact that he spent some time playing in Falco’s band (you know, the guy who had the hit “Rock Me Amadeus”). Of course, we all know that ability does not translate into good music, as a legion of boring as all hell guitar hero albums has shown. Thankfully, it seems that Milan Polak is one of the few who can actually do it right. Ranging from full-on assaults like “Quicksilver” to more subtle songs like “Spanish Romance”, DREAMSCAPES runs the gamut of styles, but the one thing that ties it all together is the fact that this are actually good songs. This isn’t just a guitar wizard showing off (though Polak does get in a huge amount of guitar fireworks), but he has taken time to make sure that the songs are enjoyable on their own. Guitar fans will surely love DREAMSCAPES, and even those who don’t normally go for these things (like me!) will most likely find something to enjoy on this disc. DREAMSCAPES is a refreshing listen, and one that will hopefully put some life back into the stale instrumental metal genre. Reviewer: & © Waspman Rating: 4.0/5 © 2009-2012 Metal-Rules.com. All Rights Reserved. http://www.metal-rules.com/review/viewreview.php?band=Milan+Polak&album=Dreamscapes

Dreamscapes sees guitar whiz Milan Polak unleash his fresh music vision for a new generation of guitar fans. The 13 tracks Dreamscapes has to offer showcase the impressive compositional skills and stellar production values that are making Milan Polak one of the hottest players on the guitar instrumental scene. Reviewer Eric Van Den Bosch had this to say, "it's high time this guy gets more famous with others than just his peers. Instrumental guitar albums are released almost constantly, most of them with lots of muscle flexing, but this is one of the better ones. Especially since Polak regularly takes it down a notch for some nice dreamy blues, a lovely bit of acoustic guitar or even a jazzy intermezzo. His style shows some kinship with Steve Lukathers solo work: lots of variation, songs that don't need 10 notes a seconds, and often somewhat dreamy in atmosphere. As far as I'm concerned Polak is one of those guitarists that deserves a wider audience." © Guitar9 http://guitargods.altervista.org/Polak_Milan.htm

A diverse instrumental guitar rock album that has something to offer for everyone. Milan’s music encompasses pop, acoustic, jazz, Latin, fusion, heavy rock and classical elements. Some of Milan’s influences include Paul Gilbert, Steve Lukather, Shawn Lane, David Gilmour, Vinnie Moore, Allan Holdsworth, and Larry Carlton. ‘Dreamscapes’ received incredibly positive reviews worldwide. It ranked no. 1 in four different categories of the guitar nine-charts including 'Most Popular Overall', 'Most Popular Fusion', 'Most Popular Hard Rock' and 'Most Popular Heavy Electric' with a popularity rating of 100.0. A well known English online magazine dedicated a special edition to Milan and ‘Dreamscapes’ for the first time in their history. In an interview, Milan Polak said “You know, these days it is cool to not know your instrument and be a complete retard and the masses will love you. Not only in the music market. And media is selling people with those crappy star search, pop idol shows that everyone with no talent whatsoever can be a star. I even wrote a song about this phenomenon called ‘Superstar-Mania’ which will be on my vocal CD. We live in a ‘fame for 5 minutes’ society and I sometimes feel like I have to be ashamed of or apologize for the fact that I know my instrument, am able to speak, read and write more than one language and have some cultural background”. In May 2008 Milan Polak was voted one of the world’s 50 fastest guitarists by "Guitar World Magazine" but this album is not about speed, just brilliant compositional skill, great melodies, and amazing guitar technique. Check out Joel Rivard, Alessandro Benvenuti, & Milan Polak’s brilliant "J.A.M." album and Milan’s 'Straight' album. The fabulously talented drummer Thomas Lang appears on “Dreamscapes”, and you can check out some of his work on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 112 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Panic Room 5:17
2 Girlfriends 3:49
3 Dreamscapes 4:20
4 Spanish Romance 3:39
5 Quicksilver 3:49
6 Slowgold 4:31
7 Joyride 3:26
8 Contrapunctus III (Die Kunst der Fuge)2:31
9 4 A.M. 3:48
10 Shadowdance 5:36
11 Ground Zero 3:00
12 Straight Ahead 3:52
13 Sometimes I Still Miss You 4:18

All tracks composed by Milan Polak except Track 8 by Johann Sebastian Bach

MUSICIANS

Milan Polak - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Voice
Peter Schonbauer - Bass, Fretless Bass
Bernd Fuxa - Bass
Thomas Lang, Florian Holoubeck - Drums
Metin Meto - Percussion
Stefan Jungmair – Saxophone

BIO

Originally born in Vienna, Austria on May 10th on Mother's Day Milan grew up and lived in a lot of different places all over the world such as Korea, Kenya, Saudi-Arabia, Germany, Italy & U.S.A. which gave him the opportunity to get in touch with a lot of different cultures and musical styles. Of course, this experience had a major impact on his view of this world as well as his music. The only problem he had to face time and again was that to survive as a musician in his country you either have to be a prostitute or produce crap which both just wasn't his thing. They say that if you want to become famous in Austria you either have to die or leave the country - well, Milan wasn't ready to die yet... So, he decided to move to Germany. Milan has always wanted to be a musician. Originally, he wanted to become a drummer but never got a drum set because his parents said it was too expensive and that he didn't have any musical talent anyway. So, he began playing the guitar when he was about 13 but the love for grooves remained just the same. He had a song book called "Beatles Complete" and that's how he learned strumming the first few chords on an acoustic guitar. He also grew up listening to guitarists like Al Di Meola & Paco De Lucia as well as a lot of classical music. And having a natural ear helped him to progress at a fast pace. Soon he got his first electric guitar and got into AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Van Halen. Then a friend turned him on to Randy Rhoads and after hearing him, Milan knew that he wanted to become a serious guitarist. He spent hours trying to figure out Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Paul Gilbert and Randy Rhoads solos by ear (yes, at that time there were no instructional books or videos available, so he had to do it the old-fashioned way) and must have worn out a couple of tape decks. In 1985, after two years of serious playing, Milan started to get into the local scene and got himself a name. Local Magazines started to call him "the most talented guitarist of Austria". After high school he attended the "Schubert Jazz conservatory" but left after a few months because things were not moving fast enough for him. Around the same time Jazz guitarist Les Wise opened up the "American Institute of Music", the European pendant to MI & Berklee College. There he went on to study jazz/fusion with Wayne Brasel and was one of the first students to receive a professional diploma in Feb. 1991. Milan's demos started to create some interest and he received a lot of kind feedback from various magazines and books like "The Modern Guitarist" by Matt Williams. Around that time he also sent a tape to John Stix of "Guitar for the Practicing Musician" who reviewed it and featured Milan in his column "Resume" in Dec. 1990. In 1991 Milan also accepted an offer to teach at A.I.M. and became co-head of the rock department until the school closed down in 1995. There he met some cool musicians like Rich Kern, Lale Larson, Todd Duane, Joey Tafolla, Shawn Lane, Deen Castronovo, Frank Gambale a.m.o. Around that time Milan used to hang out at the local rock club a lot and got the chance to jam with people like Jeff Waters of "Annihilator", Dimebag Darrell of "Pantera" and Dizzy & Matt Sorum of "Guns n' Roses" who all came to that club after their concerts. In Feb. of 1993 Mark Varney released the third CD of the series "Guitar On the Edge – the World's Hottest Guitarists" which featured Milan's tune "Where Were You Tomorrow?". It was followed by the release of No. 4 in 1994 featuring "Absolutely Positive". The next two years Milan spent teaching, doing studio & live gigs, playing at music fairs and writing & recording songs for both his solo career and his band "New World", a four piece band that sounded like a mixture of "Dream Theater" & "Pantera". In 1994 he signed a record deal with "Rock the Nation" for "New World" and a solo album, two CD's were released in 1995 – "Guitar 2001" & "Changing Times", which both received very good reviews all over Europe. Unfortunately, the record company had some financial problems and "New World" broke up frustrated. On the 12th of July 1995 Milan played with the band "Tangerine Dream" in Los Angeles at the SIR Theater to present their release "Tyranny of Beauty". Between 1995 and 1997 he had the great opportunity to meet and play with some of the world's greatest musicians such as Billy Sheehan ("Mr. Big" & Steve Vai), jazz bassist Steve Bailey, Marty Friedman ("Megadeth") and Ken Hensley of "Uriah Heep". In 1996 Milan played guitars for a musical called "Blondel" and recorded a CD with Austrian songwriter Sigi Maron called "Raps und Rübsen". In the year of 1997 he became the guitarist of Falco, Austria's only internationally successful pop star up to date who even had a No.1 smash-hit in the U.S. billboard-charts called "Rock me Amadeus". Falco had been looking for a guitarist for about a year and just prepared to go to England because he was convinced that he could not find a suitable guitarist anywhere else anymore. A mutual friend recommended Milan and Falco gave him a shot just the evening before he flew to London. It was love at first sight and Falco started to introduce Milan to people as his new guitarist before he had even seen him play just because he had listened to the songs "Dreamscapes" & "Spanish Romance". The next morning he still left to London for about three weeks saying that if he could not find a better guitarist there, Milan would have the job. These three weeks became some of the most exciting times in Milan's life... Tragically, the collaboration quickly came to an end when Falco died in a car accident on the 6th of February in 1998. That same year the instructional series "Guitar Heroes – Real Technique" was also released. Milan had started to write it in 1997 as a product of his intense teaching experience. A Falco-CD called "Verdammt, Wir Leben Noch" was released in 1999 featuring Milan on the song "Poison". The year of 2000 was heavily occupied by a project called the "Falco cybershow" – a huge event that combined elements of a rock concert with elements of musical plus technical madness such as water walls, laser show, etc. A CD with the O.S.T. was released the same year. In 2001 Milan was asked to join forces with Haddaway, a relict of the dance scene of the 90ies, who once had a big hit called "What Is Love" and was trying to re-launch his career. A concert at "Stars & Bars" in Monaco followed as well as the CD "My Face", which was also Milan's first job as an international producer. 2002 saw Milan getting back more to the "guitar-hero-thing" again when he turned in the instrumentals "Sometimes I still miss you" for an album called "The Alchemists" (Liquid Note Records) as well as "Utopia" for the Jason Becker tribute "Warmth In The Wilderness Vol. II" (Lion Music), which also featured great musicians such as Steve Vai, Marty Friedman, Randy Coven a.m.o. In 2003 Milan was involved in the two productions "Mit Grosser Sorge" by De Luca and the Falco cover version "Rock Me Amadeues" by Missterious which entered Austrian and Swiss Top Ten-charts, before relocating to Hamburg, Germany in July. He had also started to work on the project album "J.A.M." featuring the great talents of Alessandro Benvenuti and Joel Rivard. This was interrupted by Milan's relocation to Germany in July 2003 and was finished in his new studio in Hamburg. "J.A.M." was released in May 2004 and received great acclaim worldwide including 'Album of the Month', a no. 2 chart position in the Jazzwise UK charts and 'best overall selling CD' at guitar9.com. Milan also started to work on a crossover project with the renowned classical violin player Lidia Baich which was never finalized, unfortunately. Excerpts can be found in the music section. In March 2005 the renowned label Lion Music released Milan's long awaited 2nd solo CD "Dreamscapes" worldwide followed by "Guitar Odyssey" in October 2005, which is a re-mastered version of the sold out CD "Guitar 2001" featuring an extra bonus track. Both CD's received raving reviews from magazines all over the world which can be found in the discography section. But by this time Milan had already started to write new songs taking a step into another direction. Realizing that playing instrumental guitar music only offers limited possibilities, he decided to write songs with lyrics and vocals to reach a wider audience. By the end of 2005 he got together with drummer John Macaluso & bassist Randy Coven and flew to NY to record his next album called 'Straight' featuring Milan on vocals & guitar. Both additional recordings including bassist Fabio Trentini as well as mixing took place in 2006. The result received great feedback by both fans & press and the pre-release CD made it into one of the 'Top 10 albums of 2006' lists of the Dutch magazine File Under ranking at no. 3. By the end of 2006 Milan signed a contract with Lion Music to release "Straight" world-wide in April 2007. "Straight" received a lot of great feedback including "Album of the Month", "Top 10 Albums of the Year", "Top 30 releases of 2007" and Milan was voted "Best Guitarist of 2007". Also the song "The Glowing Of A Cigarette" was voted no. 2 of the "Top 200 songs of 2007" charts by the renowned Fireworks Magazine, UK. Around April/May of 2007 Milan was also asked to help the German gold-selling act Subway To Sally with their next album. Milan co-wrote 10 songs and played all the acoustic & electric guitars on the album "Bastard" which entered the German album charts at 7. In spring 2008 the band won the German Bundesvision Song Contest with their song "Auf Kiel" which Milan Polak co-wrote. In the meantime Milan had started to write & record demos for his next album. © http://guitargods.altervista.org/Polak_Milan.htm

18.4.14

Strings 24


Strings 24 - Strings 24 - 2009 - Lion

Strings 24 are a new project created by Frank Caruso, Stefano “Sebo” Xotta and Gianluca Ferro. These three axemen coming from different musical experiences decided to mix their styles into a new band dedicated to guitar, with the aim to raise its musical expression and compositional potential. The bands name comes from the three guitarist’s use of 8 string guitars (3x8=24). The three musicians have a pedigree of being in the music business for many years. 24 Strings, their new project immediately gathered broad attention from Italian record labels, magazines, radio and TV networks along with attention of Lion Music. Their self titled debut album is unashamedly full of virtuoso rock guitar across 12 identifiable tracks and will appeal to fans of Vai and Satriani as well as those into newer guitar virtuosos such as Rusty Cooley and Marco Sfogli. The three guitarists of Strings 24 have identifiable styles. Sebo is a typical rock player, very pentatonic oriented with a passionate vibrato coming from the Gary Moore, Zakk Wylde, Marty Friedman school of thought. Frank is a perfect blend of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen, very precise with solos and really powerful with riffs! Gian’s style is best defined as “liquid”, because his arpeggios and licks are really like water coming out from a bottle. Very prog metal influenced, Gian’s composition style is really complicated, but in a very musical way. These three variations on rock guitar are important in bringing a different style and touch to the songs, creating the unique Strings24 style. The trio began writing songs for the album at the end of 2007 before selecting the material to feature on the album in the summer of 2008. Each of the three guitarists have home studios, so they started composing and sharing the projects, adding new parts in the different studios and putting them together. All the drum parts were initially done drum software, before the real drums of Roberto Gualdi (Glenn Hughes) were tracked at Damage Inc. Studio in Ventimiglia. IT. Roberto’s drum work added a lot of dynamics and musical ideas, giving the album a new punch. Finally the album was mixed at Fran Caruso’s Phantom Studio, and the mastering was shared with Luca Pilla, a very talented Italian sound engineer. © Lion Music 2013 http://www.lionmusic.com/cd/strings24.htm

A great virtuosic rock, metal, and blues instrumental album using three 8 string guitars. Unusual, but sounds great. Try and listen to the band’s “Speak” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 122 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Introspective (Intro) 2:06
2 Outraged Dimensions 5:18
3 Running In The Wind 3:26
4 Double D 4:20
5 Schizophrenic Disorders 3:49
6 Remember Blues 4:54
7 Mystical Thoughts 5:36
8 G String Song 4:45
9 Psychedelic 4:54
10 Flown 5:48
11 Besides Nowhere 5:13
12 Go Down Peter! 3:30

All tracks composed by F.Caruso, S.Xotta, & G.Ferro except “Go Down Peter!” based on the “Peter Gunn Theme” by Henry Mancini

MUSICIANS

Franco "Frank" Caruso, Gianluca Ferro, Stefano "Sebo" Xotta - Electric Guitar & 8 String Electric Guitar
All Guitar Solos by Strings 24 except Stefano "Sebo" Xotta on Track 4: Franco "Frank" Caruso on Track 8, & Gianluca Ferro on Track 11
Gabrielle Baroni - Bass
Lorenzo Feliciati - Bass on Tracks 6 & 12
Alessandro Del Vecchio - Hammond on Track 6
Roberto Guialdi - Drums

Rob Balducci


Rob Balducci - Balance - 1995 - Circumstantial

"On his debut album, Rob Balducci, like many notable purveyors of guitar instrumental music before him, flirts with overindulgence. Luckily, however, Balducci knows when to say when, and, on Balance, showcases his musicality rather than merely his technicality. Balducci's got a crisp, clean attack, and thankfully, he's clearly more concerned with melody and construction than speed (although he can certainly handle all three), which makes the album work as an enjoyable entity, not just a collection of runs and fills. Hummable shred -- what a concept." - Guitar World Magazine

"Playing since he was 11, this New Yorker won Best New Guitarist honors in 1990 in NYC. His most recent release, Balance (on Circumstantial, distributed by Relativity), highlights Balducci's shreddability. The instrumental music, a combination of hard rock, metal, and blues (his influences range from Van Halen to Vai to Gary Moore), is currently on the college music charts. A fixture of the regional and New York City club scene, Balducci counts Joe Satriani as a mentor, and he has endorsements from Ibanez, DiMarzio, Eventide, and D'Addario." - Guitar Magazine

In 1995 “Balance” received unanimous praise from press and guitar enthusiasts alike heralding this promising new talent. After hearing Balance, Guitar World Magazine said “Hummable Shred! What a concept.” “Balance” is an exceptional album of hard rock, metal, and blues by a great guitarist, musician, composer, producer, and instructor. This guy can shred with the best of them and also play understated quiet melodic passages without compromising his remarkable talent. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Rob’s great “The Color Of Light” album and check out his “Violet Horizon” album on this blog with special guests Guthrie Govan and Dave Weiner. Support real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 104 Mb]

TRACKS

1 Seduction 4:09
2 The Evil 4:33
3 Waiting for the Son 5:05
4 Baby Brother 3:10
5 Ghost 4:40
6 Child 5:54
7 Max 5:10
8 The Sentinel 4:44
9 Remember the Time 5:46
10 Masquerade 2:52

Tracks 1,2,3,6,8,9,10 composed by Rob Balducci: Track 4 composed by Keith Ciaramello: Tracks 5,7 composed by Rob Balducci & Keith Ciaramello

MUSICIANS

Rob Balducci - Guitar
Danny Miranda - Bass
Jeff Bova - Keyboards, Organ
Keith Ciaramello - Drums
Café – Percussion

BIO

A native of New York, Rob Balducci has defined himself as a guitarist, musician, composer and one of the most sought after instructors in New York. Balducci’s music is drenched in layers of sonic colors, each representing a tangible emotion, desire, depth, feeling, thought and mood. Rob said "There's this cliche that instrumental guitar music has gotten to be too much of a vehicle for soloing and showing off technique. That's completely the opposite of what I'm trying to do. My music is really like vocal songs with the guitar as the vocals.” Guitar World said after hearing Balducci’s debut CD “ Hum-able Shred! What a concept.” “ Rob is an excellent guitarist… I’ve always had his CDs around and I am waiting for him to become the next big guitar player ” - Joe Satriani “ Rob is a great player and is as dedicated to his work as one can get and it shows in the construction of his audio emotions”- Steve Vai Having played guitar for the past 24 years, Rob spent years dedicated to mastering his instrument. These well-spent years of woodshedding, and perfecting his technique would pay off handsomely. In 1990, Balducci would go on to win a local contest sponsored by Guitar For The Practicing Musician proclaiming him as New York's best guitarist. Balducci also furthered his six-string education, earning a degree in music performance and theory from Five Towns College. Balducci's debut CD, 1995's BALANCE distributed through Sony Music reaped unanimous praise from press and guitar enthusiasts alike heralding this promising new talent. After his debut CD Balance, Rob worked on new material and starting shopping his music to record companies. The new CD was sent to Steve Vai in hopes of Steve wanting to release it on his new record label Favored Nations Entertainment. “Favored Nations was created with the intent of bringing music that's energetic and emotional, with performances by artists of the highest caliber. The artists signed to Favored Nations are a unique, dedicated breed that have attained the highest performance level on their chosen instruments – Steve Vai “ Vai signed Balducci to Favored Nations and released Mantra and The Color Of Light CDs worldwide. Balducci’s newest 2009 Favored Nations CD is titled Violet Horizon and features 15 new tracks of his best work to date with special guest appearances by Guthrie Govan and Dave Weiner. 2009 has been a busy year, not only has Balducci recorded Violet Horizon he also collaborated with Bassist Randy Coven and drummer John Macaluso on a new CD that will be coming out on BHP/NuGroove records. The CD features songs written by Randy, Rob and John and is produced by Emmy Award winning producer Brian Tarquin. Joining Rob on this CD is fellow guitar players Steve Vai, Leslie West and many more…. Rob is currently working on his debut instructional DVD which will be released through The Rock House Method company. His stellar guitar stylings can also be heard on "Rewired: A Tribute To Jeff Beck," "Crushing Days: A Tribute To Joe Satriani" and a salute to Carlos Santana. Rob Balducci has the pleasure of working with and endorsing Ibanez Guitars, Cornford Amps, Intellitouch tuners, D’Addario Strings, Dimarzio Pick-ups, George L’s cables, Morley pedals, Keeley Pedals, Xotic pedals, Dunlop, Maxon and performs clinics around the world in support of these companies. The musical community has also taken notice of this guitar giant, with scores of global publications loudly singing his praises (most notably Guitarist UK, Guitar World, Young Guitar, and Burn). What remains constant about Rob Balducci is his intoxicating cinematic scope of sounds, skin-tight arrangements and extraordinary six-string dexterity. Music is a highly personal experience for each and every listener, a uniquely exotic adventure conjuring up a kaleidoscope of different emotions and feelings. Like a master snake charmer, Balducci's music seduces, inspires, challenges, and ultimately takes you onto a new dimension of light and shade and into the " Violet Horizon ". © Facebook 2014 https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rob-Balducci-Band/48340240834?id=48340240834&sk=info

17.4.14

stOrk


stOrk - stOrk - 2009 - Muso

stOrk is an American avant-garde metal supergroup, formed by ex-Korn guitarist Shane Gibson and session drummer Thomas Lang in 2010. The band's debut album, stOrk, was released on January 11, 2011 via MUSO Entertainment. Their second album, Broken Pieces, is set to be released on April 29, 2014. – Wiki

"This is easily some of the best prog metal I've heard all year! which is an incredibly grand statement in a year when Scale the Summit, Protest the Hero, Devin Townsend, Mastodon, Dream Theater, Opeth and Meshuggah all have albums coming out or already out." - Vince Neilstein, Metal Sucks

"With his new band stOrk, the super-human Austrian has more going on than polyrhythmic trickery and ridiculous speed - but there's still plenty of that too." - Dave Constantine, DRUM! Magazine

"Praise for Shane Gibson of stOrk: "... Gibson's ability to emphasize different pulses in each measure has evolved into a monstrous skill for creating compelling riffs. Combined with his penchant for heavy distortion and his love of 7-string guitars, these phrases often retain a pummel-you-in-the- chest feel while having a refreshingly "odd meter" sound." - Jude Gold - Guitar Player

Combining thrash metal with progressive rock, Los Angeles-based progressive, instrumental heavy metal trio STORK is the brainchild of guitar ogre Shane Gibson (KORN) and über-drummer Thomas Lang. The band's debut CD, "stOrk", was released on January 11 via MUSO Entertainment.,Best known as the touring guitarist for KORN, Gibson's unique soloing, frequent use of odd time signatures, heavy riffing, poly-rhythms, innovative tapping sequences and his impressive sweep picking technique provide the sonic spine of STORK's masterful, musical progeny. Songs like "Changing Lanes" and "Alien" on STORK's debut album perfectly showcase Gibson's considerable shredding skills. World-renowned drummer Thomas Lang (Rhythm magazine's "Best Drummer in the World") provides the percussive punch to STORK's sonic uppercut. With Lang's incredible interdependence, powerful double bass drumming combined with an innate musicality, his drumming on STORK is both insanely heavy and musical at the same time. Featured on "Metal Fatigue" and "Nautilus", Lang's drumming is legendary. Rounding out this ultra power trio is bassist Eloy Palacios (VENISON), the sonic superglue that binds Gibson's guitar and Lang's drums together. On STORK's debut album, Palacios' virtuoso playing and bottomless bass pocket are not to be missed. © 2013 BLABBERMOUTH.NET http://www.blabbermouth.net/news/korn-touring-guitarist-shane-gibson-and-super-drummer-thomas-lang-unleash-stork-debut/

“Intense, dark, aggressive, futuristic and somehow familiar, stOrk sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard — but always hoped you would.” © 2014 stOrk http://www.storkband.com/#!store/c61v

Dark and often savage but brilliant progressive power hardcore metal from the Los Angeles based stOrk formed by the late ex-Korn guitarist Shane Gibson and the incredible Austrian drummer Tom Lang. Described as “Intense, dark, aggressive, futuristic and somehow familiar, stOrk sounds like nothing you’ve ever heard — but always hoped you would.” Check out stOrk on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/officialstOrk and listen to Thomas Lang’s “Mediator” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 127 Mb]

TRACKS

1 MoonRock 5:03
2 Doooosh 5:03
3 Alien 5:15
4 Changing Lanes 5:16
5 Nautilus 4:21
6 Prelude In The Key of Shut The Hell Up 0:37
7 Loki 7:17
8 DucksInAPond 4:12
9 Metal Fatigue 4:18
10 Asian Manipulation 3:42
11 Emo Village Pillage 2:52
12 Tripola 7:11

All tracks composed by Thomas Lang & Shane Gibson

MUSICIANS

Shane Gibson RIP - Guitar, Vocals
Jonathan Weed - Guitar, Soloist
Eloy Palacios - Bass
Thomas Lang - Drums
JP Von Hitchburg - Vocals

16.4.14

Vanessa


Vanessa - Black And White - 1976 - Compendium Records (Norway)

Vanessa were one of the finest of Norwegian jazz-fusion outfits (part of a family of bands including the also excellent Moose Loose). They had an original style that did not shy away from it's influences of Hugh Hopper era Soft Machine and classic heavy Terje Rypdal. On their earlier album City Lips they played it a lot more safe with some patent/funky Miles Davis type grooves holding it together, whereas they'd matured a lot on Black And White and become far more technical, composing huge complex works that surge and buzz, riddled with all sorts of electronic processing. A classic indeed. Winds player turned multi-instrumentalist Svend Undseth later went on to make an excellent electronic based solo that sit midway between the early pioneering Peter Frohmader (Nekropolis) and the spacier parts of Black And White, and has done other works since that I've not yet encountered. – from & © ultimathulerecords June 19, 2012 edited about 1 year ago © 2014 Discogs http://www.discogs.com/Vanessa-Black-And-White/release/1701031

Here's a truly over the top monster prog lp from Norway that was recorded in 1976. This lp features four long mind melting tracks of 1970s style top-notch musicianship that takes the listener on a voyage to the peak of conciousness. The killer jacket artwork doesn't hurt one little bit either! © http://www.cdandlp.com/item/2/0-1112-0-1-0/113266420/vanessa-black-and-white.html

Recorded at the Basement, Oslo, September 1976, this is a very good mid-seventies funk and progressive jazz rock album from Norwegian band, Vanessa. Has anybody any info on Vanessa’s “City Lips” album? [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 97.8 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 Sun Walk - Svend Undseth 10:12
A2 Summer Poem - Svend Undseth 12:16
B1 Street Talk - Svend Undseth 3:26
B2 Fragmomentum - Frode Holm 17:32

MUSICIANS

Svend Undseth - Guitar, Saxophone [Saxes], Flute, Alto Clarinet
Harald Salater - Bass, Effects [Boxes]
Frode Holm - Piano, Synthesizer, Synthesizer [String-Ensemble], Voice [Mouth]
Thorsten Dulsrud - Drums

15.4.14

Thomas Lang


Thomas Lang - Something Along Those Lines - 2007 - Muso

The latest album from the drumming community’s resident monster has a muscular opening in the aptly named “Pinball”. The album opens with a sequence of seemingly random, (but perfectly executed) hits and that is much the order of the day for the whole thing -perfectly executed playing on all levels. That’s not where it ends though. Because, with a player like this, you’d expect to see everything Thomas has got again and again. Far from it. All of the songs are very musical and demonstrate Thomas Lang the composer just as much as they showcase Thomas Lang the drummer. All eight songs on the disk are written and produced by Thomas himself, and if you can believe this, he plays every instrument himself, with the exception of the guitars. They cover all bases, from balls out rock, to fusion, to drum & bass, to swing and jazz. The completion of this album took nearly five years, fitted around deaths, loss, two babies and even a move of continent! According to Lang himself, “In the time it’s taken me to finish this album, my life has changed immensely…and it’s all represented here.” Represent away, especially if this is what comes of it… © Mark Pusey August 2007 http://www.mikedolbear.com/story.asp?StoryID=1379&Source=Search&txtSearch=Guru

Viennese drummer Thomas Lang’s “Something Along Those Lines” is an eclectic and contemporary hybrid sound of "chill out" jazz, fusion, and progressive rock with rapid and powerful drum beats, shredding guitars and great grooves throughout. Although this album is primarily a demonstration of great jazz drumming, taken on it’s own it has a lot of merit with great musicianship and well structured compositions. As well as his session work Thomas has played with artists that include Paul Gilbert, John Wetton, Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes, Tina Turner, Steve Hackett, Nina Hagen, Steve Jones, Mick Jones (the Clash), Bonnie Tyler, and many more. Check out Thomas’ “Mediator” album [All tracks @ 192 Kbps: File size = 70 Mb]

TRACKS

1. Pinball (4:50)
2. Mylar vs Nylon (6:53)
3. Dragster (7:39)
4. Hollow (6:21)
5. Nickel (5:20)
6. Cannonfodder (8:30)
7. Cote d'Azur (6:06)
8. Sandcastles (5:37)

All tracks composed by Thomas Lang

MUSICIANS

Bill Liesegang - Torsten de Winkel, Steve Jones - Guitar
Christian Lohr – Keyboards
Thomas Lang – Drums, Various Other Instrumentation

BIO

A native of Vienna/Austria, Thomas took up drumming at the age of 5. In addition to lessons at local music schools and years of private tuition, Thomas was formally educated at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. After leaving the conservatory, Lang began working professionally – working his way through the European Pop, Rock and Jazz scenes. In addition to his work as a session musician (Thomas has played with Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big/Racer X), John Wetton (UK, King Crimson), Robert Fripp, Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple), Tina Turner, Robbie Williams, Kelly Clarkson, Sugababes, Geri Halliwell (Spice girls), Emma Bunton (“baby spice’), Victoria Beckham (“posh spice”), Ronan Keating, Steve Hackett, Boyzone, 911, Falco, Nina Hagen, Steve Jones, Mick Jones (the Clash), The Commodores, George Michael, Doogie White (Rainbow), Bill Liesegang, Gianna Nannini, Sertab Erener, Vienna Art Orchestra, Bonnie Tyler, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Save the Robots, Stork, Terabite, Schwarzenator and many more) Lang’s 1995 solo release, “Mediator” topped the charts in Europe and garnered rave reviews for its innovative Jazz/Dance/ProgRock sound. Thomas has performed at every major international drum festival and has toured the world many times over as a sideman as well as solo performer. Thomas has appeared everywhere from “Top of the Pops” to the Eurovision Song contest, from sold-out football stadiums to the Modern Drummer Festival. Lang’s original practice regime eventually became the basis for his 2-part series of instructional videos, “Ultimatives Schlagzeug I & II” which were originally released in 1995. Due to overwhelming demand, these videos were re-released on DVD in 2004 by Hudson Music (www.hudsonmusic.com). In 2003 Lang released the multi award-winning instructional DVD and book “Creative Control” which was an instant hit with drummers and drum teachers around the world. His highly anticipated follow-up DVD and book, "Creative Coordination & Advanced Foot Technique" (www.halleonard.com) was released in November of 2006. This ground-braking DVD has also won worldwide awards and and marks a milestone in modern high-end drumming concepts and technique. All of Thomas Lang’s DVD’s and books remain Best-sellers and are also available through his offical merchandise site: www.muso-mart.com. In his quest to, “play the unplayed,” Thomas has worked cooperatively with the research and development team at Meinl Cymbals to create, “Tom’s Becken” – a pitch-matched range of contemporary crash cymbals that provide acoustic and electronic drummers with modern sounds that resemble artificially engineered cymbal samples. Launched in 2002, “Tom’s Becken” were so well received that in 2004 Thomas Lang worked with Meinl once again to design the “Fast Hats” , and a whole series of “Filter Chinas” (www.meinlcymbals.com). In 2002, the Remo Corporation approached Thomas to produce the “Thomas Lang Practice Kit” (www.remo.com) Other Thomas Lang signature products are Vic Firth’s “Thomas Lang signature model” stick (www.vicfirth.com) and the “Thomas Lang signature Bigfoot bassdrum beaters” .Thomas Lang endorses DW drums and pedals, Meinl cymbals, Vic Firth sticks, Remo drum heads, Roland electronics, Gibraltar hardware, Ahead Armor cases, Puresound snare wires, Bigfoot beaters, Hansenfutz practice pedals, E-pad and Audix microphones. Awards include:-
1999, 2001: Best studio drummer (Rhythm magazine)
2002: Best pop drummer, Best all-around drummer (Rhythm magazine)
2002: Best drummer (Drums and Percussion magazine)
2003: Best clinician (Modern Drummer magazine)
2004: Best DVD, Best clinician runner up, Best drummer runner-up (Modern Drummer magazine)
2004: Best DVD, Best new signature product, Best drummer (Drummer magazine). Best studio drummer (Rhythm magazine). Best recorded drum performance (Sticks magazine)
2005: Best pop drummer, Best Clinician, Best Solo Drum performance (Rhythm magazine). Best DVD, Best all around drummer, Best drum event (Drummer magazine)
Best drum clinician (DRUM! Magazine) Best drumming video/DVD (Drum! Magazine)
2006: Best DVD, Best drummer (Rhythm magazine)
2007: Best DVD, Best drummer (Rhythm magazine, Modern drummer magazine)
Aurora Gold Award 2007 (Best Video Production)
Best Clinician 2007 (Modern Drummer magazine)
Best Clinician 2008 (Modern Drummer Magazine)
Best Clinician 2008 (Drum! Magazine)
© http://www.thomaslangdrumcamp.com/www.thomaslangdrumcamp.com/Thomas_Lang.html

Warren Cuccurullo


Warren Cuccurullo- Road Rage - 1998 - Bandai Records

I have to admit, I've been looking forward to this one. While I really dig Machine Language, this is more my style. This CD fills in the gaps for those of us who loved his 1994-96 solo shows so much and wanted to be able to hear them clearly (as opposed to all the bootlegs that floated around). With Thanks 2 Frank and Roadrage, you now have a fairly complete portrait of Warren's solo shows that are so breathtaking, even if you haven't had the chance to see one. Overall, I must say that this album ranks right up there with Thanks 2 Frank as a must-have for any fan of Warren's. The only thing that could have made it even more fantastic would have been if he could have recorded "Watermelon in Easter Hay," but since Gail Zappa has stated her wish that the song never be recorded again by anyone, he could hardly do that (you can find it on several bootlegs from the Dec 1993-Feb 1994 part of the 1993/94 Duran tour and it is well worth the effort to do so). While Thanks 2 Frank had, in my opinion, two types of songs, generally speaking, this CD is much more diverse. The older album had some songs that were bluesy, rocking, crisp and clear, hot stuff, and then it also had some more melodic, brooding and textured songs that ended up being the ones I preferred (such as Galactic Ballerina, Orgasmatron, Tardinha, Indian Time Zones, etc). On Roadrage, we are treated to both sounds and more. Two of the songs on this album showcases Warren's talent in the first way that the world was introduced to it: with Zappa music. Transylvania Boogie and Willie The Pimp are both Zappa classics that Warren was more than able to execute. The former was recorded live in March 1996 at Tower Records with Joe and Wes, who proved themselves more than capable of handling the job. The latter song was recorded live at the Stone Pony show (July 1994), with Warren's Canarsie buddy Jon Kiebon on vocals, Jay Cuccurullo on drums and Nick Beggs on bass. Having been privileged to witness this performance, I must say that even though I had never heard the song, it was something special to behold, and all the spontaneity of that night was captured in this track. There are two totally-solo cuts on the album: Suddenly Spring and A Little Exit Music. Suddenly Spring shows us a new side of Warren (unless we've been following Duran Duran over the last few years) and is a beautifully arranged, acoustic guitar bouquet of sound. A Little Exit Music ends the album with one guitar figure repeated over and over in a weirdly frenetic and delicate way, backed by a lower part that returns you right to the root of the song at every turn, and then toward the end, the whole thing gets skewed into something even more strange. Something that I was quite pleased to see is that the three new songs that Warren added to his live shows in 1996 have been captured for posterity on this album. Hearing these songs shows you how Warren's musical mind has grown and changed just since 1994. Whatever You Say, Mac and Roadrage are sheer masterpieces, especially Roadrage, which is moody and dark enough to please anyone. I must single out Wes for praise for his bass work on this song, too. The Beating is something that I wasn't sure at the time was an actual song, seeming to be a way for Warren to work out his sound and test his equipment, but I remember being totally fascinated by it. Duran fans will recognize this jagged, echoey sound from the song "Silva Halo" (Medazzaland), though he toned it down a lot before its use in the Duran song. Perhaps most exciting to me and other Missing Persons fans is the inclusion of In-Flight Entertainment, which we were introduced to at the 1994 Stone Pony show (it was then titled "Discoveries"). At that time, Warren told the audience that Missing Persons used this song to warm up. This song blasts into orbit with Chapman Stick bass by Nick Beggs, and Steve Alexander handily fills the Terry Bozzio slot, even getting a long and frenetic drum solo. This all works together and folds into a blasting, euphoric sequence of chords on Warren's guitar. The showcase of the album, in my opinion, is Ordinary World (recorded live with Joe and Wes in March 1996). As all of you know, Warren wrote the majority of this song and contributed it to Duran Duran, giving them their first top 5 hit in years. The way Warren performs it with his own band, in his own way, will send chills down your spine as you hear all the passion and honesty that has always infused this song and you begin to realize that the lyrics and vocals only carry half the load. In Warren's instrumental version, shared with you here, Warren's guitar fully orchestrates every shred of emotion in the song as you journey from the delicate beginning to the soaring middle part to the roaring climax and right back to a satisfying, gentle end that leaves you feeling as if you have experienced the ultimate performance of the song. At any rate, Warren's talent is phenomenal, and we're all so lucky to have the honor of experiencing it. My hope is that he continues to record music like this and share it with the world. – from “Roadrage: The Privacy Review” By & © Cyndi Glass © http://www.cuccurullo.tv/archives/fanzine/iss26.html

"Road Rage" is legendary Brooklyn born guitarist Warren Cuccurullo’s (Zappa/Missing Persons/Duran Duran) 1998 live project featuring tracks recorded live in Los Angeles (CA, USA), New York (NY, USA), London (UK), and Asbury Park (NJ, USA) between 1994 and 1996. Essentially, the album is a sequel to the great "Thanks 2 Frank" album, providing the rest of the songs Warren played in his solo shows from 1994-96 except for Zappa's "Chunga's Revenge". "Road Rage," "The Beating" and "Whatever You Say, Mac" were all brand new in the March 1996 shows. A few Zappa covers are included, "Transylvania Boogie" and "Willie The Pimp", and a positively scalding, amped up instrumental take on Duran Duran's "Ordinary World". Also included on "Road Rage" is "Suddenly Spring", a live solo acoustic piece performed for VH-1 in London. "Warren said that "This is the most emotional, spirited, fiery guitar playing that I've ever done. You have never heard it like this. This sounds like it was recorded in a studio." Warren blazes through this 9-song set which also features featured drummer Joe Travers and bassist Wes Wehmiller among others. HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Warren Cuccurullo’s “Thanks 2 Frank” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Road Rage - Warren Cuccurullo 8:32
2 Transylvania Boogie - Frank Zappa 4:53
3 Suddenly Spring - Warren Cuccurullo 3:39
4 Whatever You Say, Mac - Warren Cuccurullo 7:34
5 The Beating - Warren Cuccurullo 1:54
6 Willie The Pimp - Frank Zappa 8:57
7 In-Flight Entertainment - Terry Bozzio, Warren Cuccurullo 3:14
8 Ordinary World - J. Taylor, N. Rhodes, S. Le Bon, Warren Cuccurullo 7:23
9 A Little Exit Music - Warren Cuccurullo 2:03

Tracks 1, 2 & 8 recorded in Los Angeles on 3/29/96, format: DAT: Track 3 recorded in London for VH-1 in June, 1996, format: Video: Tracks 4 & 5 recorded in N.Y.C. on 3/27/96, format: DAT: Track 6 recorded in Asbury Park, N.J. on 7/6/94, format: Sony Mini Disc: Track 7 recorded in London on 9/30/94, format: DAT: Track 9 recorded at a soundcheck somewhere, format: Sony Mini Disc.

MUSICIANS

Warren Cuccurullo - Electric & Acoustic Guitar
Wes Wehmiller - Bass on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8
Nick Beggs - Bass on Track 6, Stick on Track 7
Joe Travers - Drums on Tracks 1, 2, 4, 8
Jerry Cuccurullo - Drums on Track 6
Steve Alexander - Drums on Track 7
Jon Keybon - Vocals on Tracks 6

BIO (WIKI)

Warren Bruce Cuccurullo (born December 8, 1956 in Brooklyn, New York) is an American rock musician who worked with Frank Zappa, was a founding member of Missing Persons, and has been a long term member of Duran Duran. Warren Cuccurullo is the son of Jerry and Ellen Cuccurullo, the oldest child of four. He has two brothers, Jerry and Robert and a sister, Stephanie. His Italian American heritage has its roots in Nocera Inferiore in Campania, Italy, and he also has some Greek ancestry. He grew up in the Canarsie neighborhood of Brooklyn, and began playing drums and guitar as a young child. He graduated from Canarsie High School in 1974. Cuccurullo has one adopted child, Mayko Cuccurullo (born 1983) who lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, who is actually the son of Claudia Bueno (Warren's former longtime girlfriend). Mayko is featured in the Duran Duran video Breath After Breath, filmed in Argentina in 1993 and contributed some minor vocal work on the N'Liten Up project. Cuccurullo returned to the United States in 2001 and lives in Venice, California. His current focus is on musical projects having to do with film scores. In his teen years, Cuccurullo became a devoted fan of Frank Zappa and began traveling to every show within 500 miles of his Brooklyn home. During the mid-1970s, he befriended several members of Zappa's band, including Terry Bozzio and Patrick O'Hearn. Over the next three years, he appeared with the band on stage at a couple of shows as well as in the 1979 Zappa film Baby Snakes (filmed October, 1977). He impressed Frank Zappa by knowing the guitar parts to every Zappa song in the catalog, including the strangest sounds and most bizarre time signatures. In December 1978, at the age of 22, Cuccurullo was invited to audition as a guitarist for Zappa's new road band, in which many members were replaced (including Bozzio and O'Hearn). Several shows on the early 1979 "Human Jukebox" European/Asian tour were recorded for Zappa's live albums. After the tour, Cuccurullo returned to the studio with Zappa to work on the Joe's Garage albums, for which he provided rhythm guitar and several vocal parts. Terry Bozzio's wife Dale Bozzio, also contributed vocal parts to the album. Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio began writing songs together, and eventually they convinced Terry Bozzio that the three of them should launch their own band. Zappa asked Cuccurullo to play on his 1988 tour, but the latter's involvement with Duran Duran had begun by then and so he declined. Cuccurullo is name-checked four times on Zappa's Joe's Garage, first by (Dale Bozzio's character) Mary in "Catholic Girls", by Zappa (in character here as Larry) in "Crew Slut", when reassuring Mary, "of course I'll introduce you to Warren!", in the track "Sy Borg" when Ike Willis sings "little leather cap and trousers -- they look so gay... Warren just bought some," and once again by Zappa during "Little Green Rosetta" 'Then everybody moves to New York and goes to a party with Warren. hey!' In 1980, Cuccurullo and the two Bozzios formed Missing Persons, added Patrick O'Hearn and Chuck Wild, recorded a 4-song EP called Missing Persons, toured, promoted the EP, and appeared in the movie Lunch Wagon. Two years of hard work led up to a signing with Capitol Records in 1982, the release of the album Spring Session M, and the subsequent success of Missing Persons on radio and MTV. The singles "Mental Hopscotch", "Destination Unknown," "Walking in L.A.," "Words," and "Windows" all met with success. They appeared at the three-day Southern California concert, the US Festival in May 1983. In 1984, Cuccurullo invented a new type of guitar he called the "Missing Link", and used it on the experimental album Rhyme and Reason (1984). The band followed up with the more conventional Color In Your Life in June 1986, but during the short-lived promotional tour, increasing tensions between then-husband and wife, Terry and Dale Bozzio, led to the end of the tour and the band. On his own again, Cuccurullo began recording some music in his bedroom that was eventually released on his solo album Machine Language. Missing Persons shared their label Capitol Records with British band Duran Duran. As Missing Persons fell apart, Bozzio and O'Hearn were approached by Duran guitarist Andy Taylor in Los Angeles for work on a solo album. In this way, Cuccurullo learned that Taylor did not intend to rejoin Duran in England to work on their next album, even before the rest of Duran Duran knew. Cuccurullo sent a tape and a request for an audition, but was turned down, with some puzzlement. As it became clear that neither enticements nor lawsuits would get Taylor back in the studio, Duran Duran hired Cuccurullo as a session guitarist to complete the album Notorious. He went on to tour with the band, and returned to contribute his increasingly experimental guitar work to the album Big Thing. At the end of the grueling ten-month Big Thing world tour (in June 1989), Cuccurullo was made an official member of the band, and moved to London. Shifting record label politics and the unsuccessful album Liberty almost derailed the band, but after Cuccurullo offered them the use of his home studio (named "Privacy") in Battersea, Duran Duran was able to shift to a more comfortable and controlled music-making style. Cuccurullo's songwriting, guitar skills and driving personality contributed to the band's return to fame with 1993's Wedding Album. He was the primary composer of the hit singles "Ordinary World" and "Come Undone", although the lyrics were written by Simon Le Bon. He created new arrangements for many of the band's old hits for the acoustic-flavored tour that followed, as well as arranging full acoustic pieces for the piano and six-piece string section that performed with them on the MTV Unplugged show. After Frank Zappa's death in December 1993, Cuccurullo performed the instrumental guitar piece "Watermelon in Easter Hay" (from the Joe's Garage album) in his honor at several Duran Duran shows. Tentative plans for a Missing Persons reunion in 1994 were shelved over remaining tensions between former band members. Cuccurullo and keyboardist Nick Rhodes continued to hold Duran Duran together during the band's lean times in the 1990s. The covers album Thank You (1995) was an attempt to keep the peace among band members who had increasing trouble writing music together. Medazzaland (1997) and Pop Trash (2000)—written after the departure of bassist John Taylor and Duran Duran's separation from Capitol Records—featured mostly new Cuccurullo/Rhodes songs and reworked TV Mania material, but failed to dent the charts even though the band sold out multiple nights in most cities on the 2000/2001 tour. In early 2001, Cuccurullo was asked to leave the band so that the original members of Duran Duran could reunite. At first the split was amicable, hinging on a financial settlement which granted him compensation from the band's forthcoming reunion album (to which he was not expected to contribute). Two years later relations soured considerably during the reunited band's American tour when he was asked by management not to attend the Las Vegas show after the band had invited him (no reason was given), and he began confirming some of the rumors that had spread about the 2001 split. Cuccurullo claimed that he was fired from Duran Duran by letter because Rhodes and Le Bon feared his reaction, though he told Duran Duran biographer Steve Malins: "I would never get aggressive in a situation like that. There were things that had to be sorted out in a professional manner, so, that's what I did." Cucurrullo remained on good terms with Rhodes however, and in 2013 they released an album containing material from their side project TV Mania. Beginning in the early 1990s, Cuccurullo collaborated with Duran bandmate Nick Rhodes, calling themselves TV Mania, and began writing an experimental rock opera trilogy called Bored With Prozac and the Internet? (initially unreleased save for a few songs on Cuccurullo's website and in the movie Trollywood). Rhodes and Cuccurullo wrote and recorded a song called “Tomorrow Never Dies” with vocalist Tessa Niles for the James Bond film ‘’Tomorrow Never Dies’’. The song wasn't chosen, so Duran Duran re-recorded it for the Pop Trash album with new lyrics under the title "Last Day On Earth". In December 1996, Rhodes and Cuccurullo wrote and produced two songs for a never-completed Blondie project ("Pop Trash Movie" and "Studio 54"); the re-recording of the former gave the Pop Trash album its name. The Duran Duran albums Medazzaland and Pop Trash were made up of reworked TV Mania songs, with Rhodes writing all lyrics to both albums except the song Someone Else, Not Me. The full, 11-track album Bored With Prozac and the Internet? was given an official release on March 11, 2013. During breaks in Duran Duran's 1989-1990 tour schedule, Cuccurullo worked with Tetsuya Komuro, Shenkar and Patrick O'Hearn. In 1994, the preparations for a solo show near his hometown led to a burst of creativity; he recorded and mixed the Thanks 2 Frank album in less than ten days, with bassists Pino Palladino and Nick Beggs and ex-Zappa drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. The album was released on Imago Records in 1996. In 1997 Cuccurullo completed Machine Language, an ambient instrumental guitar album, also released on Imago. He followed up with a live album, Roadrage in 1998 (on Bandai Records). The Blue (recorded with Shenkar in 1992) was self-released in 2000. Another ambient album, Trance Formed, was released on One Way Records in 2003. In 2005, Cuccurullo and Terry Bozzio collaborated on a CD titled Playing in Tongues, which was released in Europe on Edel Records and in the U.S. on Zappa Records in 2009. Cuccurullo still has as-yet-unreleased projects including a concept album titled N'Liten Up, recorded at The Village studios in West Los Angeles by Kent Huffnagle and produced by Simone Sello. Begun prior to Playing in Tongues, N'Liten Up is currently planned for release in Europe prior to its debut in the U.S. Spring Session M was released on CD in 1995, followed by Rhyme and Reason and Color In Your Life in 2000. Each of the three studio CDs were newly augmented by six rare B-sides or live tracks. Classic Remasters is a compilation of remastered tracks and dance mixes issued by Capitol Records with no band involvement. Beginning in 1997, Cuccurullo began work on his "Missing Persons Archival Trilogy" project. The first CD to be released was Late Nights Early Days in 1998, a live concert recorded in 1981 with the added 1980 studio track "Action/Reaction." This was followed up by a compilation of modern remixes of classic MP tracks, Missing Persons Remixed Hits (1999) which included the TV Mania remix of "Destination Unknown." In 2002 Lost Tracks was released, a collection of extremely rare Missing Persons live tracks from five different eras of the band. Meanwhile, in late 2000, Cuccurullo and Dale Bozzio again began discussing a Missing Persons reunion to feature original members Warren, Dale Bozzio and Terry Bozzio, with new keyboardist Ron Poster (of Dale Bozzio's band) and bassist Wes Wehmiller (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour bassist from 1997–2001). The short-lived, official reunion consisted of promotional activities and three live performances in July 2001. Late 2002/early 2003 brought us "Missing Persons Featuring Dale Bozzio and Warren Cuccurullo." Filling in were keyboardist Ron Poster, bassist Wes Wehmiller and drummer Joe Travers (formerly in Cuccurullo's solo band and Duran Duran's tour drummer from 1999–2001). This version of Missing Persons was featured on Access Hollywood (performing "Destination Unknown") and did three live performances in February 2003. Following this, Dale Bozzio returned to touring as "Missing Persons" with hired musicians. In 2011 Cuccurullo rejoined Bozzio as part of another short-lived Missing Persons reunion tour. Cuccurullo was raised with a strong Italian-Catholic background and attended a Catholic elementary school in Brooklyn. During most of his adult life, he had a strong disdain for religion of any sort but believed in reincarnation. After a life-threatening illness in 2003, he experienced a spiritual epiphany that he wanted to share with his fans as well as the rest of the world. These new views, which include a somewhat Universalist belief in God's existence inside everything and everyone, are not connected with any organized denomination or religion, for which he still retains a strong antipathy. In mid-2002, Cuccurullo purchased a Santa Monica, California, Italian restaurant called Via Veneto. It has become a Los Angeles-area hotspot and a favorite with celebrities. More recently, he also funded the opening of a restaurant called Hidden and Vietnamese cuisine restaurants with Michael “Bao” Huynh. Re-focusing on his music, Cuccurullo started a new collaborative project with composer Eric Alexandrakis, drummer Steve Ferrone, and producer Anthony J. Resta. Explaining the purpose of that project in a Modern Drummer news release Alexandrakis said, “The four of us decided to create a scoring collective to pursue scoring projects in TV themes, film, and advertising…” Cuccurullo released the debut album from his collaborative effort with vocalist Neil Carlill, Chicanery, on May 11, 2010. Recorded a few years earlier, the album, also titled Chicanery, was released on CD and digital media through dPulse Recordings. Musicians who joined Cuccurullo and Carlill for selected sessions on the Chicanery album included among others, Terry Bozzio, Joe Travers, sarangi virtuoso Ustad Sultan Khan, and producer Simone Sello. Also in 2010, Cuccurullo formed a local free jazz group called Theoretical 5 in Mar Vista, Los Angeles with Frank Zappa alumni Arthur Barrow (bass) and Tommy Mars (keyboards, vocals), and also Larry Klimas (saxophone), and Andy Kravitz (drums, percussion).