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Allen Hinds: Fly South

Glenn Astarita By

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Alabama-reared guitarist Allen Hinds combines a distinct style with a strong compositional pen that in many instances, goes above the call of duty when it comes to firebrand guitarist-based solo albums. Essentially, this program is not an atypical sojourn where rock or jazz fusion guitar heroes simply solo atop thumping backbeats and scanty thematic incursions. Hinds merges technical know-how and studio savvy, and is an A-list session artist who has gigged or recorded with celebrated artists and bands spanning jazz, pop and rock. He's also an educator and on the staff of the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles. Hinds hefty resume also includes comps for hit TV shows such as Pawn Stars, Duck Dynasty and others. A longtime resident of L.A., the guitarist rekindles his Southern roots with inferences to Americana and blues, interwoven with jazz fusion and rock on this high-quality recording date, featuring all-universe session artists, drummer Vinnie Colauita, bassist, Jimmy Johnson and other VIPs.

Hinds' animated phraseology comes to the forefront immediately. His velvety note-bending articulations, howling upper-register choruses and climactically oriented manner of constructing a solo are constants that drive many of these tracks. He's also a lyrical picker, often mimicking a vocalist belting out a rocker or blues ballad. On the funk and R&B tinged "Buckley," he trades radiant fours with Matt Rohde's sweeping Hammond B-3 runs, embedded by a soul-searching hook spiced with alternating tonal fields. And "Yonder Hills," is an up-tempo jazz rock type piece, framed by the leader's legato notes as he glides across the fretboard and bridging somber interludes with the rhythm section's buoyant patterns.

The leader's divergent outlook emanates from his vibrant comps where he imparts substantial storylines and melodic thematic foundations. For example, on "Heartfell," he generates a slight country twang while also using a pedal steel guitar to induce a dreamland, delicately shaded by Genevieve Artadi's ethereal wordless vocal overlays. But Hinds' moody wah-wah induced licks on "Boo's Family," may summon remembrances of Hendrix. Otherwise, "Old Mill Pond" commences as a drifting acoustic guitar-based Americana type ballad, designed with a pleasant motif that blossoms into a straight-four Country Blues panorama. Hinds closes the production with a tension and release style burner, "Blues for O.K. Tarpley."

The guitarist exhibits the epitome of taste via these magnetic arrangements and memorably melodic song-forms that fold into a highly artistic palate unlike similar undertakings by guitarists who place greater emphasis on endless soloing jaunts and not much else. Consequently, Hinds concurrent release Wonderland Park is a scaled down trio affair that poses another luminous perspective of his sound and scope.

Track Listing: Springs Eternal; Buckley; Joni; Yonder Hills; Heartfell; Little White Lies; Boo’s Folly; Old Mill Pond; June 15th Blues for O.K. Tarpley.

Personnel: Allen Hinds: guitars; Matt Rohde: keyboards; Abe Laboriel: bass (1, 8, 19); Vinnie Colaiuta: drums; Jimmy Johnson: bass (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9); Rogerio Jardim: vocals; Jimmy Earl: bass; Maxayn Lewis: vocal (9).

Title: Fly South | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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