How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Whew, did Morse surprise me on this new release, Major Impacts !
He has a new sound. "Why?" Because this is a "tribute" type of project. With much forethought, fun, and well-done planning Morse purposefully emulates the great axers' influences on his already phenomenally famous guitar artistry and supersonic chops, speed-limit decimations.
Morse echoes Clapton's Cream era, covers the supernova-gamma ray blasts of Hendrix, bellows blues-rock-fusion-meister Jeff Beck style, recognizes fusion's ostinato-lord, John McLaughlin, crunches nicely a sound-mirror of the now slim-bodied, but still heavy-sounding, Leslie West's Mountain days. Open-tuning acoustics point to Page's acoustic Led Zep and yet there are many more surprise I leave for you to discover yourself.
I am digging this disc even more than even the recent Dixie Dregs' California Screamin' release. "Why?" Simple. Morse is a super-duper, fine guitarist, a real ripper on the riffmeter but his song-writing parameters are sadly narrow. Every time I bought a Dregs or Steve Morse Band release after the superb early releases, I found myself lulled into "sounds just like", aural ennui.
California Screamin' is a worthwhile purchase for those wanting a decent nostalgia rush and for those needing a fresh listen to Morse and gang. But it is essentially a very good live jam, band reunion thang, BTDT. If you want to hear fresh Morse and get a healthy dose of classic rock/fusion guitar all over again then grab Major Impact first! It smokes!
Track Listing: 1. Derailleur Gears; 2. Well, I Have; 3. TruthOla; 4. Migration; 5. Led On; 6. The White Light; 7. How Does It Feel?; 8. Bring It To Me; 9. Something Gently Weeps; 10. Free In The Park; 11. Prognosis
Personnel: Steve Morse - All guitars and overdubs, Dave LaRue - Bass, fretless too, Van Romaine - Drums