Get this crazy baby off my head!


Bob McAlpine (Steely Dan Related)

Bob McAlpine - Only A Fool Would Play That - 2009 - Bob McAlpine

Bodhisattva begins with a laid-back bluesy feel before rocking into the song proper. This song is a wonderful blend of a classic rock riff with Steely Dan's trademark groove and Bob brings both elements out to perfection, this time on his '99 Strat. These songs are so suited to the electric guitar that it is hard to imagine them on acoustic. Of course not a lot of people can play an electric at this level of fingerstyle difficulty! Then, as if to prove his versatility as well as that of his material, Mr. McAlpine treats us to Dirty Work on his Larrivee D-03. This acoustic guitar has a full, rich sound with still lots of bright highs, and is very well-suited to this song's contrast between the lyrics and their gentle presentation.RIght from the opening notes you know that Do It Again is going to be a standout. The atmospheric start sets the song up perfectly. For this one Bob returns to a Strat, this time his 1974 Maple Strat for those wondering. Once more the harmonizer puts a lovely shimmer on the guitar. This is one of those songs you will not be able to get out of your head, but you won't be complaining! Ruby Baby brings another strong groove on the Tele. The slightly quirky melody jumps and dances around the straightforward bass making for a very cool effect. The interplay of the two ideas makes for an unforgettable arrangement. The snappy bass alone will get your body moving, while your ears will be captured by the more oblique motions of the melody. The aptly named Home At Last brings a more straight ahead song, at the start at least. With Steely Dan half of the fun is wondering where they will go next and how they will get back to the start - back "home at last". As expected this one has all sorts of interesting detours while finally getting us back to where we began. Dancing is allowed - to this or any of the other songs. Strong grooves! Deacon Blues is another one I was looking forward to, and it more than lives up to expectations. The Tele and harmonizer sound just great on the wonderful harmonies in this song. Another outstanding arrangement, but then again they all are pretty amazing. Pretzel Logic starts off with some smokin' blues riffs so it is a bit surprising to realize that they are played on the acoustic Larrivee. The playing is so clear and crisp, the recording so pristine that this guitar blends right in with the electric tracks with no sense of disconnect at all. This one is really hot and it shows that Bob McAlpine is no slouch on the acoustic guitar! We now come to the song that inspired the title: Only A Fool Would Say That. This is a fun song that moves along at a nice clip with a bouncy melody supported by a simple alternating bass. We are back to the Maple Strat here, sounding as fine as ever. Things really heat up in the middle as the bass becomes nice and active even as the melody itself stretches out into new territory. Then as suddenly as it began, it's over. Short but sweet. To end the CD, Bob pulls out his '99 Strat - this time through a Roland chorus - to give us Aja . This is a mellower tune but so full of Steely Dan-isms that it seems to be a perfect summing up of all of the songs that have come before it. This is another fine arrangement and an ideal ending to an unforgettable CD. For Steely Dan fans this CD is a no-brainer, but anyone who enjoys good songs well-played on guitar will love it. Fingerstylists will be particularly interested in the richness of tone and inventiveness in the arrangements, and I would be surprised if a few didn't decide to concentrate more on their electric playing. Bottom line: Great songs, wonderful arrangements, flawless playing. Could you ask for more? Buy it. You will not be disappointed. Go to CD Baby at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bobmcalpine to listen to previews and buy the CD. If you are in Toronto you can hear Bob McAlpine play the music of Steely Dan with the band Pretzel Logic. For more information check out their web site: http://www.pretzellogic.ca/ © 2010 David Walker http://davewalkermusic.com/page2/OnlyAFool_Review.html

An album of meticulously played solo guitar fingerstyle arrangements of 12 Walter Becker & Donald Fagen (Steely Dan) songs, and one cover of Leiber & Stoller's "Ruby Baby" covered by Donald Fagen on his classic "The Nightfly" album. A really good interpretation of these classic and complex songs. All the tracks are instrumentals (11 electric, 2 acoustic), and Bob used no overdubs. There are many albums available covering Becker & Fagen's songs. Very few manage to capture the essence of Steely Dan's often complex, quirky, and sardonic music. "Only A Fool Would Play That" is one of the better attempts and HR by A.O.O.F.C. If you get the opportunity, try and catch a gig by Pretzel Logic which is a good Steely Dan covers band. Other noteworthy Dan cover bands include the Steely Damned, and the Scurvy Brothers. Check out Sara Isaksson & Rebecca Törnqvist's magnificent "Fire in the Hole" album which is a brilliant interpretation of Walter Becker & Donald Fagen's songs. Watch out for future Bob McAlpine releases [Tracks @ 224-320 Kbps: File size = 64.2 Mb]


1 Josie
2 Reelin' In The Years
3 Rikki Don't Lose That Number
4 Hey Nineteen
5 Bodhisattva
6 Dirty Work
7 Do It Again
8 Ruby Baby
9 Home At Last
10 Deacon Blues
11 Pretzel Logic
12 Only A Fool Would Say That
13 Aja

All songs composed by Donald Fagen & Walter Becker except "Ruby Baby" by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller


Bob McAlpine has been an in-demand session player and "go-to" guitar man on the Toronto music scene for many years. His guitar work has been heard on scores of albums, television shows and jingles. He has actively conducted guitar workshops and clinics, and has written guitar columns for Canadian Musician magazine. Bob's versatility and sight-reading skills have landed him work with such diverse artists as David Clayton-Thomas (guitar sub 2005-present), Roger Whittaker (2005 tour), Gowan (Strange Animal/Criminal Mind tour 1985-86), Rik Emmett, The Canadian Idol House Band, A Foot In Coldwater, Rich Little, Joan Rivers, Shirley MacLaine, and a host of R&B stars including Ben E. King, Martha Reeves, Mary Wilson, The Chambers Brothers, Freda Payne, and Little Anthony and the Imperials. He also filled in as a regular sub guitar player for the Toronto productions of "Hairspray", "Rock Of Ages", and the Queen musical "We Will Rock You", where he subbed for both guitar players and thereby had the honour of playing every Brian May solo and harmony part in the show. Amidst all his freelance gigs and session work, Bob has managed to perform regularly with a few notable Toronto bands: Nightfly (corporate and clubs) (1990-2000) Pretzel Logic (10-piece Steely Dan tribute) (1993-present) Brass Transit (Chicago tribute) (2009-present): STUDIES: Bob began playing guitar at age 8, and by age 11 had begun studying with legendary Canadian guitar teacher Tony Bradan. He completed Tony's guitar course through 6 years of private study, and then went on to become a graduate of the Humber College Music Program in Toronto. NEXT UP: Bob intends to continue working as a sideman ("guitar player for hire"), but looks forward to the new challenge of performing solo as well. He is currently working on 2 more recordings - a solo acoustic guitar album of original compositions, and a jazz/pop solo electric guitar album. He has recently started singing, and hopes to include some debut vocal recordings on the jazz/pop CD. © http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/bobmcalpine


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Danneau said...

Most anything related to SD is peachy-keen. Thank you.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Danneau. Thanks. There's a rare jazz covers album of Steely Dan tunes at

TTU soon...P

ratso said...

Not only some keen music, but also a fab host site!! How do you do it?
Thanks muchely Mr F

A.O.O.F.C said...

Someone's gotta! Thanks, ratso. Catch you later...P

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A.O.O.F.C said...

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