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Spring 2000 
CD Reviews



Flamenco A Go-Go
(Ark 21)

After years of touring and recording behind artists such as Billy Idol, Vince Neil and Michael Jackson, guitar ace Steve Stevens lays down his electric guitars for an ear-opening and quite passionate instrumental tribute to the flamenco guitar. According to Stevens, “I kind of reached an end to playing real loud, aggressive stuff. With the shred guitar thing, it always seems like I was playing to guys who were standing there with score cards or something. We weren’t creating an emotional event - it was a gymnastic event.” Seeing flamenco guitar great Paco DeLucia play live was just the impetus Stevens needed to make his own type of flamenco guitar album. Stevens adds, “I had gone to see Paco DeLucia play. It was like seeing Jimi Hendrix still alive. For me Paco is the Jimi Hendrix of flamenco guitar.” Although the emphasis is clearly on the acoustic flavors of the Spanish guitar, Stevens tastefully transcends the respected flamenco genre by revving up his guitar work with all sorts of drum and bass loops, electronics, ambient sounds and midi gear. Assisted by a round of fine players like Greg Ellis (percussion) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Stevens should attract lots of new interest in his guitar playing with the high tech sounding, yet immensely listenable Flamenco A Go-Go. Another classic Ark 21 CD that features Stevens is their various artist instrumental tribute to The Shadows, Twang!, which features a Steven’s deft cover of the Shads ‘61 original of producer Norrie Paramor’s “The Savage”.


(Errol Antzis)

The recent release of Psychoteria by NYC-based guitarist Errol Antzis will be the ticket to establishing his name with instrumental guitar fans. Performing everything from guitars and bass to keyboards himself, Antzis goes the distance with a collection of upbeat, rockin’ instrumentals that tastefully balance melody and sizzling intensity. Skillfully combining the drive of rock and pop with heavy fusion, Antzis comes up with a winner on his self-owned label debut. For retro-rock fans and ‘60s buffs there’s also righteous covers of the Badfinger classic “No Matter What” and the theme from the I Dream Of Jeanie ‘60s TV show. A rising figure on the guitar scene, let’s hope Antzis sticks with it long enough to get a few more albums out.


The Violence Of Amateurs
(Pretentious Dinosaur)

Eclectic art-rock with incredibly tight instrumental passages and time signatures that would make most rock musicians cringe in terror are just a couple of the concepts running rampant throughout the 1999 album from Kentucky-based French TV. Although not dated sounding at all, The Violence Of Amateurs wouldn’t have seemed at all out of place back in the ‘70s, the decade that spawned progressive rock groups from just about every country in the world. Imagine a band of talented players who are more than happy to revel in the heyday of prog-rock icons like Gentle Giant, ELP, Happy The Man and Return To Forever (with Al DiMeola) as well as mid ‘70s avant-gard prog rockers like Henry Cow and National Health and you begin to get the drift of the French TV sound. Led by Mike Sary (bass) and Dean Zigoris (guitars), the French TV sound is further fleshed out by a number of other fine players. A completely instrumental set, The Violence Of Amateurs ranges in scope from the hair-raising to the picturesque and sublime with the highlight surely being a 21 minute, true-to-life cover of “The Fate”, originally written and recorded in 1977 by Sweden’s best art-rock band Zamla Mammaz Manna. The Violence Of Amateurs is adventurous progressive rock and is recommended to anyone who remembers the days when rock musicians were still considered artists. e-mail:  /


Inside Looking Out

Arriving in L.A. from his native Phoenix at the close of the ‘70s, guitarist Randy Pevler has seen his share of heavy metal and hard rock scene. In recent years, Pevler has developed a well cultivated solo career which is straightaway showcased on his most adventurous guitar-based instrumental outing to date. Pevler hits hard and fast but almost always reaches his target while demonstrating a quite sensitive touch on both electric and acoustic guitars. Like Howe, DiMeola and Santana before him, Pevler expertly blends a variety rock and jazz-fusion sounds. His electric work is quite dynamic and passionate, mostly to enhance his well-honed melodies. A highlight is “Desert Caravan”, which sounds like Heavy Metal for New Age fans. Several of the more atmospheric tracks turn the volume down a bit and shine a light on Pevler’s nimble acoustic work while on the electric cuts, he’s at his best, backed up in style by Robby Pagliari (six string bass) and Donny Sarian (drums). A fine spin for jazz-rockers and New Age metal rockers alike.


Eighth Wonder

The spirit of guitar-based electric jazz-rock is alive and well and living down under with the debut CD from Australian guitarist Fred Leduc and his group, Deluc, entitled Eighth Wonder. The group really sparkle in quartet form with Leduc’s bold electric work taking center state. Leduc has composed outstanding tunes and his bandmates are clearly up for the task. In fact, Eighth Wonder improves as the CD progresses and is time well spent for fans of greats like Steve Morse, Steve Howe and Jan Akkerman. Although the overall sound falls within the fusion vein, there’s certainly enough of a melodic tilt to the whole affair so that the album would be appreciated by fans of instrumental rock as well. Ready with a new CD to follow-up to Eighth Wonder, Leduc’s Deluc (a tongue-twister if ever there was one!) is a most welcome addition to the international guitar scene.

Attention Artists and Record Companies: Have your CD reviewed by Send to: CD Reviews Editor Robert Silverstein, P.O. Box 630249, Little Neck, N.Y. 11363-0249




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