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Findlay, John: Guitarlandia

Already a Juno Award nominee, guitarist John Findlay now lays out his magic carpet for a journey into the place where heart resides, Guitarlandia. Fronting the power trio of bassist Matthew Gerrard and drummer Derek Cushway, the destination these masters of their art take us to is one where guitars blaze, but chorus is king. And with the man at the helm also possessing a top notch, commercially tinged vocal attack, the accessibility on offer here often outstrips most albums where six string pyrotechnics are so high on the agenda. “New Moon” is a prime example, the bluesy, Americana tinged rock driven by Findlay’s fret swoops and dives but also by his Don Henley meets Paul Carrack like voice. Ensuring that you’re just as likely to be singing along with this memorable moment as you are to stand agog at the flashy but never self indulgent guitar work.

Gerrard and Cushway are able foils, the slightly funkier pop rooted “Mr Invincible” not only providing darting guitar licks but also a roaming bass workout that positively lives and breathes. That this is all revealed with glistening hooks and insistent ease is what sets Guitarlandia apart from so many other albums looking to try and utilise this approach. What is also apparent is that Findlay and Co aren’t satisfied with retreading the same path over and over, “No Place Like It” landing somewhere between The Beatles and Lenny Kravitz as the hard hitting riffs bite into a hazy chorus and reveal a hint of “Day Tripper” in the shortest of guitar breakdowns. “Book of Stone” is another rocked up Americana blues workout that in a rightful world would be a smash hit, while “Sunnyland” takes a more funked up approach and lets it all hang out there as it struts and pouts to great effect. Add in the Hendrix inflected “Crowded Room” and short, atmospheric closing instrumental pairing of the two part “Guitar Land” and while this album is cohesive and connected from start to finish, there is a real variety of moods and ideas provided.

Two cover versions are also added into the mix and while the real gems here are Findlay’s own work, the instrumental take on Henrdix’s “Freedom” and a completely stripped down but also funked up version of the Cream classic “Sunshine Of Your Love” (the latter of which I can personally take or leave, to be honest) offer yet more interesting insights. So, hop on board, strap in tight and get ready to arrive in Guitarlandia. Be warned though, you might never want to leave!


Track Listing
1. ANGEL IN MY EYE

2. NEW MOON

3. MR. INVINCIBLE

4. NO PLACE LIKE IT

5. BOOK OF STONE

6. ORDINARY DAZE

7. NEW BATTLE

8. SUNNYLAND

9. CROWDED ROOM

10. FREEDOM

11. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE

12. GUITAR LAND (PART 1)

13. GUITAR LAND (PART 2)

Added: January 5th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Guitarlandia @ The Grooveyard
Hits: 196
Language: english

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