Get this crazy baby off my head!


Phil Turcio

Phil Turcio - Signals - 2008 - Phil Turcio

Phil was the resident pianist with the In Melbourne Tonight Band on Channel 9 and Hey Hey It's Saturday. He toured nationally with The Main Event, featuring Olivia Newton John, John Farnham and Anthony Warlow. He also composed a song for The Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremony. At the age of seven Phil started learning piano with his father John. At sixteen he decided to pursue a career in music and he attended Box Hill College of Music, studying piano with teachers Greg Dixon and Thomas Spivak. The following year he travelled to Naples, Italy, where he undertook specialist classes with classical pianist Antonio Maione. On his return to Australia Phil continued his studies at Melbourne University, with jazz pianist Tony Gould. Since then he has worked in many different fields in the music industry as a Pianist, Composer, Producer, Musical Director and Teacher of classical and jazz piano. Throughout his career Phil has worked with Australia's most accomplished musicians and has accompanied many Australian and International artists. He has worked for Television Channels 7, 9 and 10, and in the recording field has played for many performers, as well as being Producer and Musical Director for numerous events. In 1997/98 Phil was the resident pianist with the In Melbourne Tonight Band on Channel 9. In 1998 he toured nationally with The Main Event, featuring Olivia Newton John, John Farnham and Anthony Warlow. In 1999 he released the album entitled Serious Young Insects with renowned drummer Virgil Donati and his band 'On The Virg', which included many of his compositions. Also that year, Phil Joined the Hey Hey it's Saturday Band for its final season. In the year 2000, the song 'We'll Be One' which he composed with his wife Kylieann, was chosen as the final song for the Sydney 2000 Olympics Closing Ceremony. He has also composed music for various TV series such as Huey's Cooking Adventures on network 10. Recently Phil has released the album State of the Heart with Lisa Edwards, which he also arranged and produced for ABC records. Phil was also the resident keyboard player for The Big Night In in 2005 on network 10. He is currently involved in producing two original recording projects : the first one with US bass player, Ric Fierabracci (Chick Corea Electric Band), and US drummer Joel Rosenblatt (Bill Evans Band/Spyro Gyra) with their band Hemispheres. The other is his first solo album featuring US drumming great Will Kennedy (Yellowjackets/Johnathon Butler), and US sax player Gary Meek (Dave Weckl Band), which is to be released in 2006. Also listen out for Guy Sebastian's new single 'Taller, Stronger, Better', written by Guy Sebastian, Phil Turcio and Gary Pinto, Produced by Phil Turcio. © Rapture Band http://www.raptureband.com.au/bio/phil-turcio

“Signals” is Adelaide born keyboardist Phil Turcio’s (Hemispheres, On The Virg) debut album and features many stellar fusion musicians including bassists Ric Fierabracci and Craig Newman, drummer Dave Weckl, and guitarist Simon Patterson. Phil's versality as a musician keeps him in constant demand. His list of credits include K.D. lang, Dave Weckl, Ric Fierabracci, Virgil Donati, Tom Brechtlein, Will Kennedy, George Garzone, Gary Meek and numerous others. Phil and his band 'Hemispheres' were nominated for a Grammy in 2008 for 'Best New Contemporary Jazz Group'. “Signals” will be classified as “smooth” jazz by some and jazz fusion by others. However, this is not bland jazz. A little on the light side, maybe, but terrific musicianship and well above average compositional skill make the album a worthwhile inclusion on this blog. If you like artists like Chick Corea, and Greg Phillinganes you may like this album by an exciting, and brilliant keyboard player. Check out Ric Fierabracci, Phil Turcio and Joel Rosenblatt’s great “Hemispheres” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 103 Mb]


1. Beyond Control 5:08
2. Lost 5:38
3. Miracles 6:02
4. Signals 7:42
5. Am I Awake 5:13
6. Solitude 5:22
7. Mystical Mojo 7:18

All tracks composed by Phil Turcio


Simon Patterson – Guitar
Craig Newman – Bass on Tracks 2,4
Ric Fierabracci – Bass on Tracks 6,7
Phil Turcio – Piano, Keyboards
Will Kennedy – Drums
Dave Weckl – Drums on Track 5
Gary Meek – Soprano Sax


πR2 (aka ΠR2, Pi-eR-2 , & TTR2)

πR2 (aka ΠR2, Pi-eR-2 , & TTR2) - Transporter - 2005 - Fonografika

πR2 were a Polish instrumental trio jazz rock formed by guitarist Mark Raduli , bassist Wojtek Pilichowski and drummer Thomas Łosowskiego . “Transporter” was a completely non-commercial project but received many positive reviews. Despite a fair degree of success, the band broke up in 2012. If you like Panzerballett, Fragile, Allan Holdsworth, Tribal Tech, etc., you may like πR2’s music. The musicianship on this album is superb and the album alone is worth listening to for Wojtek Pilichowski’s technically brilliant and unique bass playing. Check out the band’s “Time 52” album on this blog @ http://overdoseoffingalcocoa.blogspot.com/2014/04/r2-aka-r2-pi-er-2-ttr2.html where you can read more about the musicians. “Transporter” is HR by A.O.O.F.C [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 133 Mb]


1. Nowe Buty - Pilichowski, Raduli, Cleancy 4:47
2. Blues W In - Raduli 5:07
3. Lewel - Raduli 5:29
4. Johan - Raduli 5:44
5. Smut - Raduli, Bidiuk 4:27
6. Odwaga Trwa - Pilichowski 4:21
7. E-Impro - Raduli 5:14
8. Pamiec O T.C.O. - Raduli 4:35
9. Riff Connection - Pilichowski 3:44
10. DB - Raduli 12:52


Marek Raduli - Guitar
Wojtek Pilichowski - Bass
Wojtek Olszak - Keyboards
Tomasz Losowski - Drums, Percussion
Adam Baldych - Violin

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips - Protocol II - 2013 - Phantom Recordings

Some of the best Instrumental Jazz/Rock Fusion released in years! Simon Phillips, (Drums & Recording Production), has assembled stellar world class players for this quartet with Ernest Tibbs, (Bass), Andy Timmons, (Guitar) and Steve Weingart, (Keys), for both this recording and live touring. One of the most exciting aspects of this work is the compositions are obviously tailored to be played live in concert. Simon indicates that these tracks were basically recorded live in the studio, so you know these guys are going to nail it in concert as well. This ain't no background music for a cocktail party! High octane and complex music that insists the listener pay attention, which is a strong positive by my standards. That being said, the recording is chock full of "in the pocket" grooves and superb hooks the serious listener will be humming for days. The band is currently on tour in Europe and my understanding is a January 2014 mini tour of East Coast USA is pending. Apparently, this recording is available for sale on CD at live concerts. Hopefully the CD will be available on Amazon eventually. My advise, buy this download now and pick up the CD at a gig later! Check out TV Concert Promo Spot [...] – from ***** MONUMENTAL JAZZ/ROCK FUSION AT IT'S BEST!,November 7, 2013
By & © Robert Graham ""Rockit Bob"" (Portsmouth, NH USA) © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Protocol-II-Simon-Phillips/product reviews/B00FLRJTWM/ref=cm_cr_dp_synop?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending#RG6OCV6W0YPF0

Stunning instrumental jazz/rock from the great percussionist Simon Phillips, & HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Simon’s “Symbiosis” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 137 Mb]


1 Wildfire - Phillips 7:26
2 Soothsayer - Phillips/Weingart/Timmons/Tibbs 8:57
3 Gemini - Phillips 7:53
4 Moments of Fortune - Phillips/Timmons 8:13
5 Upside in Downside Up - Phillips/Weingart/Timmons/Tibbs 6:58
6 First Orbit - Phillips/Weingart 6:34
7 Octopia - Phillips/Weingart 3:41
8 Enigma - Phillips/Weingart/Timmons 9:17


Andy Timmons - Guitars
Ernest Tibbs - Bass
Steve Weingart - Keyboards
Simon Phillips – Drums


An innovative, aggressive drummer, Simon Phillips embarked on his musical career at an early age. He showed affinity for the drums quickly -- beginning with a toy kit at age four, moving on to a snare and cymbal set at six; by age 12, Phillips was performing and recording with his father's Dixieland jazz band. After his father's death, Phillips left the jazz band and began exploring other musical styles, including rock and musicals. A gig as a drummer for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar led to session work, drumming on the demos of various cast members. As his connections in the music scene grew, so did his session credits: From the '70s onward, Phillipsperformed with prominent rock and jazz artists like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Gil Evans, Stanley Clark, Frank Zappa, and Peter Gabriel. By 1997, however, Phillips was ready to lead his own band. Joined by a cast of seasoned rock and jazz musicians including guitarists Ray Russell and Andy Timmons, saxophonist Wendell Brooks, bassist Anthony Jackson, and percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo, Phillips began touring as a bandleader. This lineup also recorded Phillips' 1997 album Another Lifetime. Three years later, Vantage Point was released. © Heather Phares 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/simon-phillips-mn0000754875

Darren Housholder

Darren Housholder - Symphonic Aggression - 1995 - Shrapnel Records

The last of three recordings guitar-instrumentalist Darren Housholder released on Shrapnel Records, Symphonic Aggression is the musician's most accomplished record. Improved production and a more developed rhythmic concept elevate this 1995 release above Housholder's earlier efforts. The clean guitar funk and jazz explorations falter, but the Berklee Music graduate's fluid rock soloing -- the heart of all three Housholder releases -- are his best ever. Guitar enthusiasts will enjoy the much improved Strat guitar tones and bassist Ricky Wolking's killer performances. As the title suggests, Symphonic Aggression is Housholder and his band's (Wolking and drummer Ray Lozier) most classically influenced disc. Sounding occasionally like classical metal's most heroic guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteen, Housholderperforms blistering solos over Bach- and Chopin-inspired key modulations. The classical dramatics hold up through the first half of the record before the disc shifts into the more conventional rock feel used in Housholder's first two releases. Even when Symphonic Aggression loses its neo-classical momentum, Lozier and Wolking give the arrangements energy and depth. The rhythm section's full tones and interesting polyrhythms provide a welcome dynamic to the standard shredder material. Housholder's solo work typifies a genre of music made by (and for) the most technically inclined rock musicians. Fans of this complicated, sometimes difficult music will enjoy Symphonic Aggression; clearly the guitarist's most impressive record to date.
© Vincent Jeffries © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/symphonic-aggression-mw0001883809

Darren Housholder is an excellent guitarist, a very high class performer and a graduate of Berklee School of Music. He also was a faculty member of Berklee teaching Modern Rock Guitar. Darren can play almost any technique and style. Guitar magazine called him a "thoroughly modern player with sass, sparks and control." He has an awesome talent for soloing . On “Symphonic Aggression”, Darren uses a lot of neoclassical stylings, vibrato and legato phrases and even though “Symphonic Aggression” is not his best album, it reveals the Los Angeles musician as a hugely talented and accomplished guitarist. Listen to his “Generator Man” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 132 Mb]


1 When in Rome
2 Dinner With Wolfgang II
3 Expresso
4 Mayday
5 Middle of the Night
6 The Juice Is Loose
7 Hello
8 Running Scared
9 Crying for You
10 Dance of Sir Rockstr le Earthquake Doggie

All tracks composed by Darren Housholder except Track 10 composed by Darren Housholder, Ray Luzier, & Ricky Wolking


Darren Housholder - Guitar
Ricky Wolking - Bass
Ray Lozier - Drums

Simon Phillips

Simon Phillips - Another Lifetime - 1997 - Magna Carta

An innovative, aggressive drummer, Simon Phillips embarked on his musical career at an early age. He showed affinity for the drums quickly -- beginning with a toy kit at age four, moving on to a snare and cymbal set at six; by age 12, Phillips was performing and recording with his father's Dixieland jazz band. After his father's death, Phillips left the jazz band and began exploring other musical styles, including rock and musicals. A gig as a drummer for a production of Jesus Christ Superstar led to session work, drumming on the demos of various cast members. As his connections in the music scene grew, so did his session credits: From the '70s onward, Phillipsperformed with prominent rock and jazz artists like Jeff Beck, Pete Townshend, Gil Evans, Stanley Clark, Frank Zappa, and Peter Gabriel. By 1997, however, Phillips was ready to lead his own band. Joined by a cast of seasoned rock and jazz musicians including guitarists Ray Russell and Andy Timmons, saxophonist Wendell Brooks, bassist Anthony Jackson, and percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo, Phillips began touring as a bandleader. This lineup also recorded Phillips' 1997 album Another Lifetime. Three years later, Vantage Point was released. © Heather Phares 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/simon-phillips-mn0000754875

If you took musicians who have worked on projects with artists as diverse as Olivia Newton-John, Vanilla Ice, Tim McGraw, Julio Iglesias, Tina Turner, the London Symphony Orchestra, Ashford & Simpson, the Bee Gees, George Benson, Jimmy Buffett, Chick Corea, the Doobie Brothers, the Four Tops, Stephane Grappelli, Lena Horne, Joe Jackson, Madonna, the O'Jays, John Sebastian, Doc Severinsen, Simon & Garfunkel, Steely Dan, Dionne Warwick,Sadao Watanabe, Jon Anderson, Big Country, Roger Daltrey, Mick Jagger, Judas Priest, Mike Oldfield, Trevor Rabin, Joe Satriani, and Whitesnake and put them together on a project, several questions might come to mind. Among those questions might be: Just how big of an army is this? Another would certainly be: What kind of music would these people make? Well, the answer to the first question is, just seven people (Simon Phillips, Andy Timmons, Wendell Brooks, Jeff Babko, Ray Russell, Anthony Jackson, and Pete Escovedo). The answer to the second question is not as simple to answer, but far more interesting. Overall the CD is a very enjoyable variety of jazz, but certainly progressive rock leanings and other sounds do emerge. Expect to hear funk alongside elements of both Pat Metheny and Al Dimeola. Don't be surprised if you pick up on hints of vintage Genesis. As one might expect with musicians boasting the above credentials, the album is exceptionally strong, both in terms of writing and performance. Also coming as no surprise, the drumming is top-notch and makes up a lot of the interest of the CD. However, the rest of the band definitely keep up their ends as well, serving up their unique blend of fusion. This is one that should serve to entertain both jazz aficionados and fans of progressive rock equally well. They just don't make them a lot better than this. © Gary Hill © 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved

A brilliant prog-rock, fusion and jazz release from the great drummer Simon Phillips with great compositions and outstanding musicianship from Simon and musicians that include guitarist Ray Russell, bassist Anthony Jackson, and the wonderful Jeff Babko on keys. VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Simon Phillips’ “Symbiosis” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 138 Mb]


1 Jungleyes 8:07
2 P O V 5:55
3 Freudian Slip 6:45
4 Eyes Blue For You 5:40
5 Kumi Na Moja 8:13
6 Mountain High 5:40
7 E S P 6:10
8 Euphrates 6:36
9 Another Lifetime 6:34

Tracks 3,5,7 composed by Simon Phillips: Tracks 1,2,4,6,8,9 composed by Simon Phillips & Ray Russell


Ray Russell - Guitars
Anthony Jackson - Bass
Jeff Babko – Keyboards
Simon Phillips - Drums
Peter Michael Escovedo - Percussion
Wendell Brooks - Saxes


πR2 (aka ΠR2, Pi-eR-2 , & TTR2)

πR2 (aka ΠR2, Pi-eR-2 , & TTR2) - Time 52 - 2008 - REC Records / Friends Records

πR2 were a Polish instrumental trio jazz rock formed by guitarist Mark Raduli , bassist Wojtek Pilichowski and drummer Thomas Łosowskiego . In 2005 , the group released their “Transporter” album which was a completely non-commercial project but received many positive reviews. In November 2008 , the band released “Time 52”. Despite a fair degree of success, the band split in 2012. Try and listen to the band’s “Transporter” album. If you like Panzerballett, Fragile, Allan Holdsworth, Tribal Tech, etc., you may enjoy this album. The musicians on this album are technically brilliant and this is an album you will listen to again, and worthy of inclusion on this blog [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 145 Mb]


1 Minarets Voice - Raduli 5:44
2 Efo Blues - Pilichowski 8:09
3 Sztander - Pilichowski 6:31
4 Acoustic Light - Raduli 5:52
5 M.T.W - Bidiuk, Raduli, Pilichowski 5:31
6 One and a Half - Raduli, Sztadjel 6:20
7 The Last One - Raduli 5:38
8 Our Journey - Raduli 7:54


Marek Raduli - Guitar
Wojtek Pilichowski - Bass
Tomasz Losowski - Drums


Marek Raduli was born in south-west Poland in 1959. He received a thorough musical education (percussion class, completed in 1980). Since 1982 he has been working as a professional guitarist in many popular and famous pop and rock groups (including “Budka Suflera”- one of the few top Polish supergroups). He was a contributor to the creation of more than 30 albums recorded with first-class performers. He also cooperated with jazz musicians, steadily developing his interests in the field of fusion music. That resulted in producing his own record, “MSS” (“Mexican Symbol of Happiness”, 1996), which was later reissued twice (1998, 2001). In 1997 Raduli was hailed as “the Guitarist of the Year” by the most prestigious Polish music magazine “Gitara i Bas”; since then he has been occupying top positions in the magazine’s charts. Since 1999, Raduli has been regularly invited to many musical training sessions organized all over Poland as a lecturer. In 2003 he decided to create his own group “Pi-eR-2”. (Or TTR2) To form a trio, he teamed up with his two friends; Wojtek Pilichowski (very active in performing pop, fusion and jazz music, drummer of the rising generation, famous for his technical virtuosity, the author of many handbooks teaching how to play the bass) and Tomek Losowski. Both of them were chosen to be “the Best Rhythmic Section” in the year 2004 (by above-mentioned music magazine, “Gitara i Bas”). Raduli also works in many other settings (e.g. he appears in groups formed by Krzysztof Scieranski, very well-known in Europe as a solo bassist), but his own trio was a ‘Number One Project’. Their successful debut took place in Germany at “Ingolstadter Jazz Tage 2003”. Being heard in many other configurations, for quite a long time, Raduli played simultaneously in a band called “Funk dE Nite” (several concert tours and live album – 2004) together with trumpeter Saskia Laroo (Holland), bassist Steve Logan (USA) and a keyboard & vocal magician, Warren Byrd (USA). Raduli also had his contribution playing in a quartet created by Zbigniew Jakubek (one of the best Polish keyboardists). Raduli has never been confined to the stage only; he managed to generate music to a feature film (2004), he is pleased to contribute his talents to many charity projects (helping poor children in Poland or other musicians with serious health problems or tsunami victims). He is always ready to help young performers by taking part in their recording sessions. He is also willing to play with alternative or “niche” groups, e.g. Carrantouhill – a Polish band performing Celtic/Irish folk music. In 2004 they decided to record material for an album together with such Polish jazz giants as vocal world-star Ula (Urszula) Dudziak, Wojciech Karolak (kbs & Hammond), Tomasz Szukalski (sax), bass-master Krzysztof Scieranski and vibraphone virtuoso, Bernard Maseli. Raduli’s skills are widely recognized and appreciated; he has been constantly topping the Internet charts and rankings ( www.fusion.pl ) as the best Polish guitarist playing fusion/jazz-rock music, and his guitar solos have become well-known standards in Polish pop and rock music. In March of 2005, first CD of ‘Pi-eR-2’ group - ‘TRANSPORTER’ - was released, supported by intensive line of live performances in jazz clubs all around Poland. In a whole year of 2005, Marek gave almost 100 concerts (with various bands) and accepted several invitations to play guitar as guest on recordings sessions of various artists. Also, he started to collect material for his second solo album, which release is planned on spring of 2007. The band was created by Krzysztof Ścierański - bg, Paul Wertico - dr (ex-Pat Metheny Group, SBB), Bernard Maseli - vib (Walk Avay) and Marek Raduli - g. Several concerts including Poland, Slovakia (Bratislava), Hungary (Budapest) and Germany (Ingolstadt, XXI Jazztage Festiwal). Edited by bmxgamer on 19 Jan 2007, 11:05 © 2014 Last.fm Ltd. All rights reserved http://www.last.fm/music/Marek+Raduli/+wiki


Wojtek Pilichowski (born 16 April 1969 in Warsaw, Poland) - Polish bass virtuoso, session musician, composer. He has worked with many popular Polish pop/rock artists - Jan Bo, Natalia Kukulska, Kasia Kowalska. His own projects are - jazz trio TTr2 and funk/fusion Pilichowski Band. He also plays in Polish supergroup Woobie Doobie. Wojtek Pilichowski is honored by many prestigious Polish awards, including: Playbox award (a prize awarded by all prime radio stations in the country) for Best Bassist in the following years: 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001 “Gitara i Bas” [“Guitar and Bass”] magazine poll (the winner is chosen by the readers of the magazine) for Best Bassist: 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 for Best Rhythm Section: 2001 (with drummer Michał Dąbrówka): 2003 (with drummer Tomasz Łosowski): He also appears on music workshops as an esteemed teacher. © 2014 Last.fm Ltd. All rights reserved http://www.last.fm/music/Wojtek+Pilichowski


One of the most known drummers in Poland. Composer, sideman, teacher (author of the first professional video school for drum set). He has played with many Polish artists. He recorded over 40 albums (including his solo album “C.V.”). He got the “The Guitar& The Bass+ The Drums” ’s award for the best Polish drummer of the year 2004. Together with Slawek Losowski [his father] he plays large outdoor ‘Light and sound’ concerts. At the concerts they present the music of Slawek Losowski www.myspace.com/slawomirlosowski Tom Losowski is a member of the band PiR2 (Marek Raduli – guitars, Wojtek Pilichowski – bass, Tom Losowski – drums) (www.myspace.com/pierdwa). He is an appreciated teacher, willingly participates in many different musical projects, workshops, clinics and drum shows. Tom has a professional recording studio. He records drum tracks for different musicians and bands. He can record drum tracks in his studio FOR YOU and SEND IT BY INTERNET! Tracks can be send in WAVE system, which fits to PRO TOOLS sessions . There is a list of studio equipment: (http://tlosowski.republika.pl/nagrywanie/nagrywanie.html) He writes articles for the popular Polish drum magazine „PERKUSISTA” (www.myspace.com/magazynperkusista). His new video school for the drum set appears there. He is always ready to play and open to new ideas and new proposals from bands, artists, songwriters, managers… If you want to listen to more of Tom’s drum sessions you can go there: http://www.tlosowski.republika.pl/mp3/mp32.html - Edited by ShadowOfTheMan on 16 Mar 2010, 23:19 Sources http://www.myspace.com/tomlosowski © 2014 Last.fm Ltd. All rights reserved http://www.last.fm/music/Tomasz+%C5%81osowski/+wiki

Tom Principato Band

Tom Principato Band - I Know What You're Thinkin' - 1988 - Powerhouse Records

This is the sophomore release for the Tom Principato Band after the leader Tom Principato launched his solo career. Continuing in the grand tradition of their first CD "Smokin'" which I highly recommend seeking out, the guitarist/vocalist again partners with Steve Wolf on bass and Clark Matthews on drums. This trio, assisted here and there by organ fills and horn arrangements, is a real threat, and they dish out some fine rock-n-roll that is infused with some jazz and some blues/soul. Tom Principato contributes 2 originals, the jumping "Try to Reach You" and the searing instrumental "Blue Lights", which he thinks is one of the best songs he ever wrote. While I think that "Blue Lights" certainly finds a rival in the title track of Tom's "In The Clouds" CD, it is definitely a composition that should have been considered for a Grammy. Steve Wolf, who is a remarkable bass player in his own right, contributes 3 originals that bring a greater strength and diversity to the album. With Steve Wolf paired up with Clark Matthews on drums, the rhythm section in this power trio is rock solid and tighter than a bull's butt. The choice of covers on this album is quite fun: "Congo Square" by Sonny Landreth, "Never Make a Move Too Soon" which has been a staple in BB King's repertoire, and "Honeydripper" by Art Neville. The band does an excellent job with the covers, really making them their own and delivering a really fun rendition of "Never Make a Move Too Soon" -- Tom also nails the vocals down to a tee on this great tune. That being said, Tom does a super job with the vocals throughout. As an added bonus, the sound quality is remarkable throughout this album. The sample MP3s don't really do this album much justice -- you have to hear it in its entirety to judge. The CD version for some reason isn't available on Amazon but is available directly on Tom's website for those who like the hard piece of plastic :-)- By & © Denis (NJ, USA) “***** Infectious American rock-n-roll, right up with the best of 'em, August 23, 2010” © 1996-2014, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/product-reviews/B000QZYK3C/ref=acr_dpdigitalmusic_text/175-5373449-9600335?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1

The great and underrated guitarist Tom Principato has a rich blues background, and a genuine love of the blues. He is long known to guitar aficionados for his beautiful fluid playing technique. The legendary Pat Metheny once said of Tom, “He has an enormous talent at telling stories in his solos; he doesn't play 'standard' licks". Tom's albums cover everything from blues, jazz, country and high-energy rock to Latin and Eastern influenced neo-classical music”.“ I Know What You're Thinkin'” covers blues, soul, funk and rock played with genuine passion. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Check out Tom’s “Blues Over The Years” album on this blog, and try and listen to Tom’s great “Tip of the Iceberg” album. Buy his terrific instrumental "Not One Word" album and support real music [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 92.3 Mb]


1 I Won't Recover - Steve Wolf 3:56
2 Never Make Your Move Too Soon - Stix Hooper / Will Jennings / Nesmond Hooper Jr. 5:16
3 Rose Marie - Steve Wolf 3:50
4 Blue Lights - Tom Principato 6:13
5 Congo Square - Sonny Landreth 5:50
6 Try To Reach You - Tom Principato 3:00
7 I Know What You're Thinkin' - Steve Wolf 3:50
8 Honeydripper - Art Neville 5:29


Tom Principato - Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar, 6 String Bass Guitar, Bass, Electric Bass, Vocals
Steve Wolf - Bass, Vocal Harmony
Tom Lepson - Hammond Organ, Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Clark Matthews - Drums, Vocals, Harmony Vocals
David Palmer - Drums, Percussion
Pete Barrenbregge - Tenor Sax
Scott Young - Tenor Sax, Horn
Dave Brink - Baritone Sax
Bruce Gates, Vaughn Nark - Trumpet
Rick Lillard - Trombone
Mary Chapin Carpenter, Margot Kunkel, Cindy Wallman - Backing Vocals


Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Tom Principato has long been a regional star in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He has toured nationally around the U.S., Canada, and Europe, but often the venues are clubs. His particular blend of blues-rock is highly specific; jazz guitar master Pat Metheny said of Principato, "he has an enormous talent at telling stories in his solos; he doesn't play 'standard' licks." Raised in suburban Washington, D.C. his early guitar playing heroes included Roy Buchanan and Danny Gatton. He listened to his parents' recordings by the likes of Chet Atkins and the Benny Goodman Sextet with Charlie Christian, and like a lot of kids, discovered the power of Chicago blues in his high school years. Earlier in his professional career, Principato divided his time between two still-great cities for blues, Washington, D.C. and Boston. Principato was the leader of a band, Powerhouse, whose only album but lively shows made them a major club attraction in the late '70s. In 1980, Principato also joined guitarist Geoff Muldaur on the road and recorded an album with him as a member of his band. Back home in D.C. in 1981, he sought out and hooked up with a number of musicians, including Big Mama Thornton, Billy Price, and Sunnyland Slim and the Assassins, a band that included Nighthawks guitarist Jimmy Thackery.Principato recorded two albums with the Assassins, No Previous Record(1986) and Partners in Crime (1987). By 1987, Principato had launched his own solo career, playing at various nightclubs in and around D.C. and northern Virginia with varying trios. He made a live recording with his early mentor, Danny Gatton, Blazing Telecasters, which was later released in 1990. Since 1984, Principato has recorded many solo albums featuring his own varying groups. They include Smokin! (1986) I Know What You're Thinkin(1988) Blazing Telecasters with Danny Gatton, In Orbit (1990) Tip of the Iceberg (1992), In the Clouds (1995), and Really Blue (1998). He releasedBlues Over the Years in 1999, Not One Word in 2000, Live in Europe in 2001, Fingers on Fire with Pete Kennedy (now of the folk-rock duo the Kennedys) in 2002, House on Fire in 2003, Oh No! More Blazing Telecasters in 2005, and Guitar Gumbo, released that same year. His most recent recording, Raising the Roof, was released in 2008. Through the years, Principato has released records on his own Powerhouse Records label, as well as with the now-defunct, Atlanta-based Ichiban label. His live shows, often accompanied by just a bassist and drummer, are exciting, with lots of guitar pyrotechnics and great playing from the other members of his ensemble. Since the 1990s, Principato has enjoyed ongoing endorsement deals with Fender guitars, DR String Co., Seymour Duncan pickups, and Roger Mayer effects pedals. (The London-based Mayer made a variety of effects pedals and electronic gadgets for Jimi Hendrix.) Based in Falls Church, VA., when he's not out delivering his powerful live shows to crowds in clubs and theaters, Principatois like lot of unheralded blues and roots rock performers; he spends a lot of time in Europe, where the crowds in general seem to be much more appreciative of indigenous American styles. Other than a brief flirtation with Island Records, he has never been signed to a major label. © Richard Skelly
© 2014 AllMusic, a division of All Media Network, LLC. | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/tom-principato-mn0000514024/biography


Joe Stump

Joe Stump - Guitar Master - 2001 - Leviathan

This is the debut from neo-classical guitarist Joe Stump. Released on Leviathan Records, a label that also featured fellow shredder David T. Chastain, it sounds like something from the '80s rather than the '90s. Surely, though, there were still teenagers around in the early to mid-'90s who aspired to be the fastest guitarist in the world rather than the next grunge or rap star. As long as that theory holds true, there will always be guitarists like Joe Stump and recordings with silly titles like Guitar Dominance. What Stump lacks in originality he makes up for in technique, but his blatant purloining of Yngwie Malmsteen's style and licks is embarrassing and unnecessary. The lackluster production quality doesn't help either, which all add up to a rather mediocre debut. Still, there was enough technique displayed here to establish Joe Stump as one of the premier shredders of the '90s. © 2013 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. https://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/guitar-master/id668339499

Joe Stump from New York, USA is considered by many great shred guitarists to be the No.1 Shred Guitarist in the world. He is one of the most intense and over the top guitarists on the planet. His maniacal guitar driven releases are amazing displays of power and jaw dropping technical command. He was named by Guitar One Magazine as one of the ten fastest shredders of all time and by Guitarist as one of the top 20 shredders of all time. He has released 5 successful instrumental releases as well as three well received vocal albums under The Reign of Terror name. Joe’s influences include Michael Schenker, Blackmore, Hendrix, Vaughn, Al Dimeola, John Mclaughlin, Alan Holdsworth and Roth. On “Guitar Master” Joe demonstrates his mind boggling improvisational abilities. Like other albums on this blog, the quality of the material is sacrificed for the musicianship. Listen to this album and you will wonder how anybody can play with this speed and with such incredible skill and dexterity. “Guitar Master” is a lead guitar lover’s wet dream. Joe Stump is a mind blowing talent. Listen to his “Rapid Fire Rondo” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 91.8 Mb]


1 Blue Groove 4:54
2 Cruel Heart 4:11
3 Divine D 4:49
4 Girls in Heat 5:29
5 Hardly Enough 4:41
6 Lying Low 3:29
7 Nightwalker 4:13
8 So Alone
9 The 8th Degree 5:04

All tracks composed by David T. Chastain


Joe Stump - Guitar
David T. Chastain -Bass
Mike Haid - Drums


Joe Stump is one of the most intense and over the top guitarists on the planet. His maniacal guitar driven releases are amazing displays of power and jaw dropping technical command. He was named by ‘Guitar One’ Magazine as one of the ten fastest shredders of all time and by ‘Guitarist’ as one of the top 20 shredders of all time. Originally picking up the guitar at age 10, Joe didn’t get serious until he was 13 with Jimi Hendrix being his initial main influence. On his early days Joe comments, “I played a little when I was 10 but then stopped and picked it up again when I was like 13. Listening to Jimi is what got me hooked. My first guitar was an SG copy from Sam Ash (I grew up in New York) .Then a year later I got a brand new 1974 Fender Stratocaster, black with a maple neck and big tilted headstock, just like Blackmore’s on ‘Made in Japan’. I loved that guitar, and I was lucky my parents were very supportive of my musical endeavours when I was young”. The Hendrix and Blackmore influences were ones that would stick with Joe to this day but it wasn’t long before a new breed of player was getting heavy rotation on Joe’s turntable. “I discovered Al DiMeola and became obsessed with the ‘Elegant Gypsy’ and ‘Casino’ records and the rest of Al’s heavy electric period. The first time I heard him play it was so amazingly fast that I was blown away (you’ve got to remember that was like 1979-1980). After that I started my Gary Moore obsession. I loved his early hard rock /metal records (‘Corridors of Power’, ‘Victims of the Future’, and ‘We Want Moore’). So his stuff and Uli Jon Roth’s work with the Scorpion became the next area of “must learn” material”. At this time Joe enrolled as a student at Berklee College Of Music in 1979 and completing his degree in 1982. But elsewhere a player making small headlines in American guitar press soon caught Joe’s attention – Yngwie Malmsteen, “I first read about him in the spotlight section of Guitar Player Magazine. All of his influences were the same as mine, so later when the Steeler and Alcatrazz records came out, I learned almost every solo on those. Then I got the ‘Rising Force’ record before it came out in the states when it was a Japanese import. That record had a massive impact on my playing. But Yngwie, Ritchie Blackmore, Gary Moore, Schenker, Uli, and Hendrix… rarely does a day go by without me listening to at least one of my favorite guys”. Trash Broadway: During the same time Joe started listening to a lot of classical music, hearing the way his favourite players used this influence and incorporating into his own style. When asked for his classical favourites Joe replies, “Johann Sebastian Bach, Vivaldi, Carl Philip Emmanuel Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Paganini, etc… mostly stuff from the Baroque and Romantic periods”. The mid 80’ saw Joe being part of rock/metal act Trash Broadway. The band signed a deal with Torrid Records (NY based indie label) and in addition to the band album Joe planned to do a solo record with the same label. Then Trash Broadway broke up after their self titled debut leaving Joe to concentrate on his solo career with the aim, “To make records with killer playing, be in the guitar magazines I read all the time, and enjoy all the things that come with that modest level of success. Then as I started to make my solo records I really found my niche as far as what I do”. Joe - late 1980'sThis niche led to a deal with Leviathan Records, the label run by fellow guitarist David Chastain and led to a flurry of instrumental releases. With the onset of grunge in 1991 the timing of Joe’s debut “Guitar Dominance” perhaps couldn’t have been seen as worse for a neo-classical influenced instrumental album, “The press thought I was nuts making this kind of record back then, outdated and unfashionable. But trends come and go and I'm still here shredding and haven't let up one bit”. Sales were good for the album and its follow up, 1993’s “Night Of The Living Shred” saw the press starting to come on Joe’s side with Guitar World magazine calling the album “the best neo-classical guitar record since Yngwie’s groundbreaking 1984 debut Rising Force”. The same year Joe joined the faculty at Berklee becoming head of metal guitar. Students over the years include guitarists of Firewind, Anthrax, Killswitch Engage and Diecast. 1996 saw “Supersonic Shred Machine” released with more positive press and the album still ranks highly with fans and Joe himself. The same year also saw the debut from a new band ‘Joe Stump’s Reign Of Terror’ with the album “Lighting The Sky” getting release in North America, Europe and Asia. On the new band outlet Joe states, “After releasing my first two instrumental discs I decided I could really expand my fan base by doing more of a vocal -band oriented type of project. So in the great traditions of Ritchie Blakemore's Rainbow and Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force I formed Joe Stump's Reign Of Terror. The music is a natural extension of what I do on my solo records with the heavy Blackmore/Malmsteen influences mixed with some good doses of speed, thrash and European power metal”. 1998 saw another instrumental offering in “Rapid Fire Rondo” before the dawn of the new millennium heralded another Reign Of Terror release in 1999’s “Second Coming”. In the finest tradition of Blackmore and Malmsteen a new singer was hired, tongue firmly in cheek Joe recalls, “Following in my heroes footsteps, it was a new record so it needed a new singer of course (laughs). I wanted this disc to be a bit more retro, more of a Deep Purple/Rainbow type of thing and little less on the speed metal side. And with Brian Troch's raspy bluesier voice I think I managed just that”. 2001 marked Joe’s second decade of recorded output with the solo offering “2001: A Shred Odyssey” a collection of rare demo material and live recordings long demanded by fans as well as another Reign Of Terror album “Sacred Ground” which would prove to be a breakthrough for the band. This third Reign Of Terror release was to be the most successful yet, featuring yet another new vocalist in former Loudness/Yngwie Malmsteen singer Mike Vescera as well as the addition of the keyboard wizardry of another Malmsteen cohort in Mats Olausson- finally stability was found in the band camp, “With the addition of Mike's killer "Dio on steroids" voice and the keyboard genius of Mats, this certainly took the status of the band up a few notches. I decided that “Sacred Ground” should be more of a band oriented effort with some of the solo sections be a little bit shorter and the music having more of that commercial Euro-metal influence. The production of the record was also slicker and smoother sounding”. The album gained more positive reviews and also saw major distribution in European territories through Limb/SPV. 2003’s solo album “Armed & Ready” saw the end of an era with Leviathan records in fine style whilst another Reign Of Terror album, the heavier “Conquer & Divide” saw joint release through Leviathan in the US and Lion Music in Europe. On “Conquer & Divide” Joe states, "The response from the press was very positive with tons of great reviews for the record pouring in, and many people saying that they really preferred ‘Conquer and Divide’ over ‘Sacred Ground’. Due to the line up being consistent and live work we had done between albums the overall band vibe was stronger. A nice mixture of aggressive classically influenced speed metal and insane guitar work.” Returning in 2004 with renewed vigour for “Speed Metal Messiah” released on Lion Music, this sixth solo instrumental album saw Joe raise his standards in every department with a stronger production and 14 inspired tracks that showcase Joe’s guitar skills showing no sign of diminishing in his second decade. And once again an album title, that by some, was seen as pompous, on his titles Joe explains, “All of my solo records have to have the pompous title, but of course that’s a tongue in cheek kind of thing. Some guys will see the title and think I’m some arrogant prick, but it’s all in good fun. While I’m very dedicated to the instrument, I certainly don’t take myself that seriously.” Joe then got an offer from Magic Circle Music to join a new power metal band called Holy Hell. This new gig saw Joe play to large audiences with Manowar and Rhadsody Of Fire playing big venues in Europe in addition to some huge outdoor metal festivals with them. Joe also saw a hoard of instructional and live DVD’s released through Shred Academy, giving fans worldwide the chance to get a lesson from Joe in his inimitable style. Solo and Reign Of Terror and summer Festival gigs with Holy Hell have continued unabated whilst Joe has spent the last couple of years writing for his new opus “Virtuostic Vendetta”, released April 17th 2009 on Lion Music. © http://www.joestump.com/bio.htm



M.C.M - 1900:Hard Times - 2007 - Lion Music

This is one of the sickest live albums in the history of fusion music,jazz rock fusion ,or jazz metal fusion,or whatever it may be called!Anyway-this impressive album proves that improvisional music can be done at a superior level by some amazing musicians,when alchemy and telepathic musical feelings exists between them!We have here the sensational Italian axeman ALEX MASI and the rhythm section of ARK-criminal drummer John Macaluso and monster bass player Randy Coven!For me,this album has a true feeling of pure magical wizzardry and reminds me a lot about the great synergy between Shawn Lane ,Jonas Hellborg and Jeff Sipe!It's amazing from the technical point of view-jaw dropping I must say-a pure lesson in virtuosity and musicianship!Not even a single second of boredom-just perpetual discovery of unknown musical territories,in terms of virtuosity and amazing technical chops ,technical frenzy!Fans of Masi,will adore this album-the guy is totally unleashed here-but the other 2 monsters are phenomenal too!I repeat-a major album for jazz metal fusion-and the LIVE feeling is astonishing!5 STARS for a musical bomb! - ***** © Ovidiu | 5/5 | 2012-3-8 © Prog Archives, All rights reservedhttp://www.progarchives.com/Review.asp?id=651107

Ever since I decided the drumming on Judas Priest's Sin After Sinalbum was awesome and investigated what else Simon Phillips had played on, I've been struggling with the genre of fusion. At turns mind-bendingly interesting or insufferably boring, it's a field plagued with players who are a little too conscious of their own skills. I generally find that metal guys dabble in it more effectively than many of the style's natives, as metal musicians often come from areas that still require high levels of musicianship, but depend on a structured and coherent song (as opposed to formless jazz leanings, which are cool and all but not really for me). So here we have 3 metal veterans, in the truest sense of the word. Alex Masi is a world-class, conservatory-trained six-stringer with a storied history, from Grammy nominations (for 1989's Attack of the Neon Sharkalbum, which featured the maniacal Allan Holdsworth) on Metal Blade to neoclassical solo guitar albums to heavy fusion and all sorts of sessions in between. Bass wiz Randy Coven has done time in Riot, Holy Mother, and the revolving door circus that is Yngwie's band. Drummer John Macaluso has also played with all 3 of those bands as well as countless others like Ark, Starbreaker, Mullmuzzler, Powermad, TNT, Chris Caffery, and probably other ones I'm forgetting. Great. So you know who these guys are, and you know they can play. Whether you like the music or not depends on how technical your tastes get. I dug the hell out of MCM's 2004 debut album, Ritual Factory. It was everything I ever hoped for from the likes of Liquid Tension Experiment or even Derek Sherinian's later material, metal that was forward-thinking and incorporated tons of other styles into the mix, whether it be prog, Latin music, you name it, while packing hooks and instrumental grooves to wet a listener's pants. This live album of all-new material takes that versatile approach a step further. If you don't like prog/fusion, heavy or otherwise, stop reading. More Mahavishnu Orchestra than Weather Report (although you should hear these guys cover "Black Market" on their debut, it's an absolute screamer), MCM take the term "fusion" and continue to bend it around their own peculiar whims. The drumming is furious, full of off-kilter linear patterns that resolve into blistering Bonham-style pocket grooves. I don't know how Johnny Mac does it, but for all his chops, it always sounds SO good. Randy Coven plucks away furious behind him, providing the bottom end for an impossibly on-point rhythm section that supports Masi's jagged riffage and fretboard theatrics. Sometimes Masi will take the back seat, providing Fripp-like atmosphere for the pulsing rhythm section, as drums definitely command attention in the blistering "Esse'n'Emme"'s Latin fervor and drum 'n bass chops, while John & Randy continue to steal the spotlight in the rollicking funk of"Unmatched Fragment". The opening title track sounds like a band about to fly off the handle, until you listen past the mysteriously in-sync breaks and fluid changes and realize it's all frighteningly calculated. "Raw Extremities" is a funky chug monster that sets the stage for the blessedly and beautifully melodic "River Offering", a song that outdoes anything a tuneful axeman like Satriani could hope to write, while injecting faint Indian strains. Going back to Simon Phillips, imagine the most out-there stuff he ever did with Jeff Beck run through some kind of eccentric metallic filter, with a touch of Billy Cobham's Spectrum. Masi's playing is admittedly a little jazzy at times with its unorthodox approach to chord progressions and dynamic sense of rhythm, and it works beautifully and gives some much-needed identity to this power trio for the calm, crushing grooves of songs like "The Ground Above", which wouldn't have sounded out of place on Macaluso's recent solo outing. No guitarist raised strictly on by-the-books metal could have come up with the exotic and elegant "30 Seconds Over Your Land". So yeah, I'm kind of a sucker for well-done fusion or heavy progressive music. If that sounds like it's up your alley, get ready to fry your brain listening to these wonderfully raw live recordings, warts 'n all, of 3 guys pushing their limits. More for the instrumentally inclined, it's a wild ride. Not for the faint of heart. By & © Will Schwartz November 28, 2007 © 2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. http://www.hellridemusicforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=16146

A reviewer on metal-observer.com makes the comment that “My problem with this record is the guitar playing. More specifically, the lead playing. It’s just that sometimes, the guitar lines just degenerates into chaotic chromatic playing, losing all sense of melody while not building any sense of dissonance or tension, and it results in the guitar playing to sound a bit like a guitar exercise going on in the middle of a jam session. The drummer & bassist are almost breathing together, and the guitar player is off in his own world doing something completely different, and it undermines the whole mood achieved throughout the song. Yea, it’s one problem, but it occurs frequently enough to be noticeable and drag down the album for me. Recommended if you like Fusion/Jazz stuff. It’s worth a listen”. This is an important point, especially with regard to “The drummer & bassist are almost breathing together, and the guitar player is off in his own world doing something completely different, and it undermines the whole mood achieved throughout the song.” However, the tracks on this album are improvised. These guys have not composed these tracks with pre-determined guitar parts, bass lines, or rhythm patterns. The “chaos” if that is the right word to use resulting from this improvised music is what makes this album so extraordinary. The music may be “unstructured” but these guys are masters of innovation and creative originality, and the music is raw, aggressive, spontaneous, impulsive, yet played with a tight groove..This is very technical and complex music but brilliantly played by three masters of the jazz fusion genre. HR by A.O.O.F.C. If you don’t regard this kind of music as worthwhile, I would urge you to give it a miss. These albums are not released to try and overtake One Direction in the “music” charts! LOL! Visit the band members' websites at www.alexmasi.net orwww.johnmacaluso.com or www.randycovensite.com For music in the same genre, check out Wayne Krantz [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 136 Mb]


1. (1900) Hard Times 4:29
2. Raw Extremities 4:32
3. River Offering 5:17
4. Emergency Poncho 4:34
5. Mutual Assured Distraction 5:05
6. The Ground Above 5:52
7. Them Ain't Us 4:17
8. 30 Seconds Over Your Land 4:23
9. Esse'n'Emme 3:58
10. Unmatched Fragment 4:27
11. House of Deviants 4:37
12. For Every Color You Know 5:26

All tracks composed by Alex Masi, Randy Coven, & John Macaluso


Alex Masi - Guitars
Randy Coven - Bass
John Macaluso - Drums


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]


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


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


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.


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]


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


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


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


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]


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


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


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


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]


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


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


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


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]


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


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


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