Vintage Guitar - February 2018 - 100
Songs Of Bob
fter Greg Howe's
epiphany to distinguish himself from
the glut of arpeggiosweeping classical-music
pirates, his career took the
kind of turns you would
never imagine - especially
with contemporaries like
Jason Becker, Vinnie
Moore, and Marty Friedman. After the release of
his 1988 self-titled debut
(which ranks as one of the
top-10 shred albums of all
time), Howe went in a different direction. He turned
his back on the crunch in
favor of the funk - funk
fusion to be precise.
1993 marked the
release of Introspection,
which left neo-classical
marching music behind
in favor of funky grooves,
soulful lines, and a moreintelligent approach to the
guitar. He reflected Scott
Henderson, John Scofield,
and Oz Noy without
sounding like a copycat.
A more athletic guitarist
than the aforementioned
musicians, imagine what
an early Edward Van Halen
would have sounded like
had he studied with Frank
Gambale and Allan Holdsworth. His adventures as
a sideman led him to sup-
port pop artists like Justin
Timberlake, Rhianna, and
Michael Jackson, but he
always returned to the
studio to continue furthering his musical identity.
Eight solo albums,
a compilation record,
and two band projects
later, Howe embraces
his early '90s brand.
Wheelhouse makes up for
the uneven Soundproof
released back in 2008,
and satisfies his base,
yielding fresh compositions and great playing.
"Tempest Pulse" is
classic Howe providing
toe-tapping groove, quirky
rhythmic breaks, and
smooth harmonic leaps.
After years of having had
the ability to play endless
streams of tasty lines,
maturity has taught him
to take a breath now and
then like on "2 In 1." Howe
slows his roll unleashing the napalm when
necessary, but when
the song shifts to blues
swing, he adjusts with
space, soul, tone, and
lush jazzy octave usage.
There's higher energy material like "Throw
Down" and the smooth
shred of "Push On,"
but the album benefits
from compositions like
the jubilant "Let It Slip"
and the acoustic solo
spot "Key To Open."
It's on "Landslide"
where Howe displays his
muse, and how he emotes
with a spiraling John
Coltrane-like effortlessness. His old label mate
and pal Richie Kotzen
makes an appearance
on "Shady Lane." It's a
slam-dunk because not
only does Kotzen sing the
hell out of this "crying in
your beer" ballad, they
take turns wailing over
premium R&B chord
changes to great affect.
the perfect gateway
drug to the Greg Howe
It also illustrates his
growth as a composer,
producer, and a top-shelf
guitarist. - Oscar Jordan
Break The Chain
A t h ree-t i me
Award winner for
Acoustic Artist Of
The Year, MacLeod also deserves the B.B.
King Entertainer Of The Year conferment.
His concerts, with between-song stories
as essential as the tunes, can make you
laugh, shudder, cry, and, most important,
He's an atypical blues musician, in
that he only performs material he's writ-
Greg Howe: Wiki Commons https://comm.
sing a dictionary
and make it sound
good, and though
she's written much of her best material,
she's proven to be a stellar interpreter - be
it Motown, blues, Americana, or Hendrix.
The Dylan songbook has been fertile
ground for covers, from the Byrds to
Johnny Winter to Link Wray, so the mere
idea of Osborne tackling the Great White
Wonder's catalog is cause for celebration.
In typical fashion, she doesn't disappoint.
Osborne co-produced the project with
longtime collaborators Jack Petruzzelli
and Keith Cotton, on guitars and keyboards, respectively. Those are generalities. As with the Fab Faux, Petruzzelli
handles electric, acoustic, slide, baritone,
and various keyboards, while Cotton
plays piano, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer
electric, and synth.
Some arrangements stick close to
Dylan's original treatments ("Tangled Up
In Blue"), while the 6/8 arrangement of
"Highway 61 Revisited" features reverby
slide from Petruzzelli, and "Rainy Day
Women #12 & 35" turns a Salvation Army
novelty into spooky blues (this time
featuring Andrew Carillo's slide). Dylan's
banjo-led rendition of "High Water" was
sparse; Osborne's take is an energetic
swirl of percussion, organ, guitars, and
Throughout, solos are succinct and
meaningful; the focus is on Dylan's lyrics
and melodies and Osborne's voice - the
type of thing Cotton and Petruzzelli do
masterfully. - DF