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California Guitar Trio: Whitewater

California Guitar Trio is not an act known for putting out dull, same-sounding record after dull, same-sounding record but Whitewater is a bigger––and more glorious––leap forward from the band than fans could have ever dreamed of. While the outfit (Bert Lams, Paul Richards, Hideyo Moriya) has released consistently fine discs such as Rocks The West , Yamanashi Blues and Pathways in the past, Whitewater finds the three taking one more step toward the ultimate clarity in expression through their instruments.

Produced by longtime friend and occasional collaborator, Tony Levin (you can hear some signature Levin-isms throughout, though they remain unobtrusive, as you might expect from the master), this 12-song outing allows Richards, Lams and Moriya the opportunity to focus on original material, such as opening "The Marsh," the blue sky happiness of "Atlantis," or pedal-to-the-steel strings pieces such as the title track, "Led Foot," or "Red Iguana" (that one comes replete with excited shouts).

The band does find time to display its patented sense of humor throughout, especially on "Ghost Riders On The Storm," but gone are the days when you wondered what kind of crazy cover stuff the CGT kids were going to get up to. Whitewater should keep people from shouting out for "Bohemian Rhapsody" for a while.

A gorgeous album and definitely one of the top five must-haves of this year––or, as they say, any year.


Track Listing:
1. The Marsh (5:00)
2. Atlantis (4:14)
3. Skyline (4:24)
4. Mee-Woo (3:19)
5. Prelude Circulation BMV 988 (2:15)
6. Cantharsis (3:12)
7. Cosmo Calypso (5:33)
8. Whitewater (3: 59)
9. Led Foot (4:20)
10. Relative Illusion (3:39)
11. Red Iguana (3:15)
12. Ghost Riders On The Storm (3:22)
Total Time: 47:10

Added: October 5th 2004
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Score:
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 4118
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

California Guitar Trio: Whitewater
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2004-10-05 13:56:00
My Score:

Rare is the instrumental album that unveils as many moods, styles and emotions as refreshingly and joyfully as Whitewater. Rarer still is an album that does so using only guitars. The members of the multi-national California Guitar Trio – Utah's Paul Richards, Belgium's Bert Lams and Japan's Hideyo Moriya- share songwriting credits on 10 of Whitewater's 12 tracks. Their playing blends delicately, as they allow each other to bring out the subtle nuances in their guitars on such diverse tracks as the manic "Cantharsis," the slow-building, plugged-in aggressive treat "Led Foot," the electronically ambient "Cosmo Calypso" and the funky "Red Iguana." Of the two non-original tracks, "Ghost Riders on the Storm" takes old Doors and Outlaws tunes and gives them a fun country-western twist, thanks to creative arranging by Richards, while Lams alters J.S. Bach on "Prelude Circulation BWV 988."

Whitewater sounds great late at night, early in the morning or even in the middle of the day. But for maximum effect, slip on a comfy pair of headphones and spend some time getting to know this album better.



» Reader Comments:

California Guitar Trio: Whitewater
Posted by Hugues Bergevin on 2005-08-14 19:32:53
My Score:

Guitars have never sounded so good, the recording of this album is one of the best I've ever heard. Producers could learn a lot from the sound of this album. Great stuff from CGT and Mr. Levin.




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