How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Guitarist Ray MacCarty debut CDMood Swingpresents MacCarty as a versatile guitarist - there is indeed a fairly wide mood swing throughout the program. The CD opens with a fairly smooth contemporary piece called "We're Still Here," then launches into a Texas-flavored 12-bar blues, "Verbena Way." Russell Ferrante's "The Light" swings back to the contemporary side, then a cover of "Comin' Home Baby" is presented in a slowed-down, bluesy setting. MacCarty puts his stamp on several other familiar covers, Ralph MacDonald and William Salter's "Mister Magic" (just imagine guitar instead of sax on the early Grover Washington, Jr., hit), Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" (also Texas blues flavored), and Ronnie Laws' "Always There." MacCarty rocks out a little with the wah-wah pedal on his original "What's Up With That." The album closes back in Texas with Freddie King and Sonny Thompson's blues "Heads Up." MacCarty's sidemen serve the music well, although there are few solo opportunities and no notable musical personalities emerge. I found myself wishing, at times, that the selections would be a bit lengthier; at between three and four and a half minutes, the groove just gets going when the song comes to a close. (Viewpoint VP0002)
Tracks:We're Still Here; Verbena Way; The Light; Comin' Home Baby; Tidal Wave; Mister Magic; Watermelon Man; What's Up With That?; Always There; Heads Up. (38:08)
Ray MacCarty - guitar; Kyle Brock, Chris Maresh - bass; Kevin Conway, Brad Evilsizer - drums; Robert Skiles - piano; Riley Osborne - Hammond B-3 organ; Larry Seyer - keyboards, percussion; John Mills - saxes, flute; James Fenner - percussion.