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Steve Hunter: The Manhattan Blues Project (2013)

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Steve Hunter: The Manhattan Blues Project Track review of "The Brooklyn Shuffle"

How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Millions have heard Steve Hunter's guitar work without realizing it. For decades he's been a first-call session luminary, performing and recording with Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Aerosmith, Jack Bruce and scores of other notables. But he's also a solo artist and highly revered for his prowess as a guitarist who is adept and comfortable in numerous genres. He nestles within an electric-acoustic blues format on this studio date that generates a host of mood-evoking grooves and storylines. Featuring progressive rock guitar hero Joe Satriani on one track, guest artist, actor Johnny Depp briefly struts his stuff on electric guitar during the Canned Heat-like fuzz-toned rocker, "The Brooklyn Shuffle."

Hunter initiates the piece with a bit of tenacity and builds tension, hued with slightly distorted lines and chunky chord voicings. He takes the first hard-rock blues solo, followed by Depp who rings the upper- registers with wailing single note licks and conveys a solid affinity for the blues, looming as a capable technician at the very least. Aerosmith's Joe Perry follows suit along with Hunter's spouse Karen who provides the "shooby doo-bop" background vocals, signaling a sense of antiquity for the closeout. Otherwise, each track on this enjoyable album casts an alternating vibe via Hunter's deft acoustic and electric work, conveying great sensitivity while reaffirming his stature as one of the best in the business.

Personnel: Steve Hunter: guitar (1st solo), drum programming, bass; Johnny Depp: guitar (2nd solo); Joe Perry: guitar (3rd solo); Karen Hunter: background vocals.

Record Label: Self Produced


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