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Hunter, Steve: The Manhattan Blues Project

Legendary guitarist Steve Hunter has performed & recorded with some equally legendary people in his career, including Alice Cooper, Lou Reed, and Peter Gabriel among many others. Here on his latest solo outing The Manhattan Blues Project, the guitarist takes a more subdued path and brings along some good friends who not only share in the spotlight but at times shine more than Hunter himself. I think that was the intent, as Steve opts for more casual, blues based playing on this CD that relies less on histrionics and more on feel & emotion.

The lovely "Gramercy Park" is a perfect example, a lush, pop-blues ballad that has a hint of ELO to it, probably thanks to the soaring backing vocals of the Karen Hunter Singers From Cloud 9, but made complete with some lovely lead work from Steve. "222 W 23rd" features some raucous slide guitar from Michael Lee Firkins, and "A Night at the Waldorf" is mostly Hunter on sinewy lead guitar and Phil Aaberg on honky tonk piano for a gentle blues romp. Bass virtuoso Tony Levin joins his old pal Hunter for a loving instrumental take on Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill", while the emotional "Daydream By the Hudson", composed and programmed by Jason Becker, is brief yet effective, featuring some stellar guitar work from Hunter. The influence of The Beatles is all over "Flames at the Dakota", as Hunter delivers some soaring slide guitar eerily reminiscent of George Harrison, and the raunchy "The Brooklyn Shuffle" sees guests Joe Perry and Johnny Depp deliver some searing Delta blues licks alongside Steve. The whole 'less is more' idea that Hunter seems to have going on throughout this album is none more apparent than on the cover of the Marvin Gaye classic "What's Going On", as the guitarist drops in plenty of alluring, liquid melody lines that just cascade over your senses in the most tranquil way. Beautiful stuff. Perhaps the most upbeat track here is "Twilight in Harlem", a real gutsy blues piece with scorching solos from Joe Satriani & Marty Friedman, as they add their hard rock/metal licks to this groove laden piece.

As you can see by the song titles, this CD has New York City in mind as the emphasis behind each track, and you can just feel 'Manhattan' all throughout this very tasty blues album from Steve Hunter and his friends. Nice job.

Track Listing
1. Prelude to the Blues 3:11
2. 222 W 23rd 5:43
3. Gramercy Park 4:22
4. A Night At the Waldorf 3:18
5. Solsbury Hill 5:02
6. Daydream By the Hudson 1:11
7. Flames At the Dakota 3:21
8. The Brooklyn Shuffle 4:01
9. What's Going On 5:13
10. Ground Zero 2:48
11. Twilight in Harlem 5:26
12. Sunset in Central Park 3:41

Added: August 4th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 1421
Language: english

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