5

Dave Stryker: Eight Track

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Dave Stryker: Eight Track A thoughtfully developed theme or concept for a recording is an underutilized dimension that can add creative depth to a project. Guitarist Dave Stryker nests several themes into Eight Track, his follow-up to his well-received Blue to the Bone IV (Steeplechase, 2012). Eight Track is the guitarist's tip-of- his-hat to the classic AM pop tunes of the 1970s, tunes often heard playing on a car eight-track stereo system. These are songs from the pre-Disco '70s, when a certain sophisticated innocence existed and was dispensed in discreet, three-minute packets of quantum sonic joy. While AOR-FM stations were spinning full LP sides of Led Zeppelin and Allman Brothers, the AM stations were still focusing on the Top 40 fare that would become antique as the '80s turned into the '90s. This nascent nostalgia adds to the richness of Stryker's project

For the ten pop classics included on the album, Stryker uses his regular organ trio partners, Jared Gold and drummer McClenty Hunter supplemented with vibraphonist Stefon Harris. The result is an almost fat-free (i.e., greaseless) performance that is, at once, graceful and swinging. The disc swings off with the Spinner's 1972 single, "I'll Be Around." Stryker establishes his clean round guitar sound early and it mixes well with Harris' soft vibraphone tone, transforming the light R&B anthem into a rolicking jump blues. While this does not establish Stryker's transformative method on the disc, it does set down the refined sonic environment.

Stryker put the polish to Curtis Mayfield's "Pusherman/Superfly" medley, rendering the funk pieces smooth on the edges. Against this accompaniment, Stryker solos with funky authority and confidence. Gold cranks the grease only enough to encourage Harris into his best and bluesy Milt Jackson. Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman" is given a lilting waltz treatment overwhich Stryker plays single notes peppered with octaves a la Wes Montgomery . "Aquarius" and "Never My Love" rub against each other, producing a warmth that is familiar and secure. If a song is out of place here, it is Pink Floyd's "Money," which is edgier by a half placed against the Jackson Five's "Never Can Say Goodbye" or Bread's "Make it With You." Nevertheless, "Money" is a standout that recalls Booker T. and The MGs more than Dark Side of the Moon (Harvest, 1973).

Stryker's recordings are always hardy and reliable projects, but all of the stars line up for Eight Track. It has a perfect appeal to the middle to late Baby Boomers who came of age listening to this music. And we all know that is the best music ever produced.

Track Listing: I'll Be Around; Pusherman/Superfly; Wichita Lineman; Aquarius; Never My Love; Superwoman; Never Can Say Goodbye; Make It With You; Money; That's The Way Of The World.

Personnel: Dave Stryker: guitar; Stefon Harris: vibraphone; Jared Gold: organ; McClenty Hunter: drums.

Title: Eight Track | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Strikezone Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Reunion" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion
by John Sharpe
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Revelation" CD/LP/Track Review Revelation
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Rough Boundaries" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Boundaries
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "On Hollywood Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Tracé Provisoire" CD/LP/Track Review Tracé Provisoire
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Sing House" CD/LP/Track Review Sing House
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.