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Marchbank, Roy: Widowmakers Highway

Here's a tasty little guitar treat for all you Joe Satriani, Steve Via, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Eric Johnson lovers. Roy Marchbank is a talented player who has put together a platter of varied sounds here on Widowmakers Highway, running the gamut from majestic elegance, to bluesy rock, some neo-classical shredding, and intricate progressive rock. His chops are pretty scary, and he has a killer tone, but it's his sense of restraint that really hit me. He can slay you with some ripping fretwork, like he does so convincingly on "Blue Bossa/Phoenix Street", as well as on the symphonic "Egyptian Psycho" where he plays off walls of synths with some fierce Malmsteen-like classical shredding. However, the majority of the songs are more gentle pieces where he shows off his acoustic side, like on the haunting yet gorgeous "Feels Like Home", or the chilling flamenco of the title track. For classical nuts, there's plenty of that here too, especially on "Flymans Knuckle" and "C Minor Prelude", or some jazz with his cover of Thelonius Monk's "Bolivar Blues".

If I have one complaint, it's with the production of the CD, which I felt was a little claustrophobic in spots, most notably on the more rock oriented pieces, and Roy's electric guitar passages also seem mixed way down occasionally. Otherwise, this is a promising release from a guitarist with a lot of talent. Remember the name, you might hear it on a bigger stage someday.

Track Listing
1) Siempre Amor
2) Blue Bossa/Phoenix Street
3) Flymans Highway
4) Widowmakers Highway
5) Autumn Leaves
6) C Minor Prelude & The Hungarian Gypsy Airs No. 1, Opus 20
7) Bolivar Blues
8) Egyptian Psycho
9) Feels Like Home

Added: August 4th 2005
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2495
Language: english

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