Stuart Hamilton looks at the new Steve Morse Band album.
It must get right boring being the guitarist in Deep Purple. Especially,
if you've been a creative sort in your youth, the way that Steve Morse was
when he was a lad. After all, Deep Purple albums don't come along very
often (four in fifteen years). And when they do, you're shoehorning your
music into someone else's slippers.
Which could explain why he's resurrected the Steve Morse Band for this
new, rather excellent, release. No-one who followed his career prior to
his hitching a lift in the reformed Kansas will find anything to surprise
them here. Unless they've forgotten just how good a guitarist Morse was,
all those years ago.
This album is a close relative of his mid-eighties, post Dixie Dregs
albums, and will prove irresistible to fans of driving, guitar
instrumentals. The last fifteen years are brushed aside withing the first
two tracks - 'Name Dropping' and 'Brink Of The Edge' - which are just
brimming with inventive life.
He's lost none of his sparkling fluidity and is gamely followed through
every twist and turn by bassist Dave Larue and drummer Van Romaine. Not
everything works as the somewhat leaden prog of 'Here And Now And Then'
demonstrates, but the misses are few and far between.
Instead, listen to the utterly insane country picking on 'John Deere
Letter' or the classical licks on 'Baroque'n Dreams'. In between there's
enough electrifying fusion to keep the most demanding noodler satisfied,
on what is a very good album indeed. However, Todd Rundgren does ask if
he can have his copy of "Deface The Music" back.
Stuart A Hamilton
Zeitgeist, PO Box 13499, Edinburgh EH6 8YL
I write stuff - links here - http://www.stuarthamilton.co.uk
I rant about stuff here - http://ascandalandadisgrace.blogspot.com/