Man, it seems the music industry is trying to make it on single releases only. I’ve seen so many singles released in the past month. No wonder I can’t write about anything. I’m not going to waste time with only singles. And then I won’t do any artist that has a single/album with (Explicit) marked on it. I don’t think music needs four-letter words in it. I use music to escape that bad in life, not to be bombarded by it.
That being said, I ran across this release that is awesome. Joe is a jazz guitarist and his new release “Truth Serum” is an awesome release. This is a cross between heavy metal and jazz. Kind of reminds me of Larry Carlton on steroids. The first song “A Timely Prayer” is a soul groove that had me moving in my seat right from the start. Wait a minute. I actually hear a guitarist that I loved in the late 70’s, early 80’s named Takanaka. I heard his album (yes, CDs weren’t around then) and had to buy it. Joe sounds just like Takanaka.
Joe turned it down with a nice danceable slow salsa named “Smile”. Joe moves into a latin 6/8 with “Rain Dance”. I hear a little Santana in this song. The drummer lays down the beat on “Double Trouble” before Joe steps into the groove. “Kaloogeedah” is a rocker. Sounds a lot like UZEB (another jazz group that I wished was still around).
Wait a minute, the blues has just come into play with “Tears”. Blues with jazz chords, a nice combination. Joe comes back into the groove with the title track. The beginning of “Ferias” reminds me a lot of Herb Alpert and the TJB “Abanda”. But that where it ends. He goes right into the latin groove again with this one. A nice slow groove brings in “Nite Owl”. It will have your toe tapping. UZEB comes back into play again with “Distant Early Warning”. UZEB did a lot with syncopation with lead guitar with keyboard syncopation. This one had me dancing. “Ain’t It Great To Be Crazy” has a groove that reminds me of SpyroGyra. Joe’s guitar really wails with this one.
“Owed to Elaf” is back to the rock and roll. The drum punches nicely with Joe’s guitar. I hear a nice wah-wah in the background as well. The last song (well I say the last song but it really isn’t. I’ll explain in a little but) is another rock and roller with a lot of octave lead guitar. Now the reason why I say this is the last song is because the last track is only 10 seconds in length. Kind of hard to really call it a song. But it’s called “Laughing Guitars”. And it sounds like laughing made by guitar effects for 10 seconds.
So, I tried to find some background on this guitarist. He doesn’t have a website and the only information I can get online is a Joe Elliott that was a lead singer of some band called Def Leppard, whomever they may be (only kidding. I lived through the Def Leppard age). So, for someone who isn’t on the net, he has a great guitar sound. Give “Truth Serum” a listen. It is worth the time and money.