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Morse Band, Steve: Outstanding in Their Field

Outstanding in Their Field...not only is this the name of the latest Steve Morse Band album, but it's also a fair assessment of just how well this trio have stood in the realms of instrumental rock music over the last three decades. Steve Morse, now longtime guitarist for both Deep Purple and the Dixie Dregs, has kept his solo band around since the mid 1980's and has managed to fit in albums and tours whenever possible in between stints with his main acts. His comrades Dave LaRue and Van Romaine have been around for quite a while now, and it's clear from the first listen to Outstanding in Their Field that these three monster players, after so many years together, are a well oiled machine at this point.

As you make your way through the CD, all the trademark Steve Morse Band trademarks are here-the rhythmic muscle, the beefy riffs, the catchy melodies, and Morse's virtuoso lead lines, permeate each and every song. The interplay between the three players on "Brink of the Edge" is just a joy to listen to, as Romaine's tricky drum fills slide underneath some furious exchanges between Morse and LaRue. "Here and Now and Then" is a throwback to the classic 70's Dixie Dregs material, a majestic & classy number that will satisfy prog & fusion lovers, and if you like the heavier, more complex material from this outfit, look no further than barnburners such as "Relentless Encroachment", "Name Dropping", "Time Junction", and the rampaging "Flight of the Ospry". One of the great things about Outstanding in Their Field is the fact that Morse and company added plenty of variety, so this is not an 'out and out' shred fest from start to finish. Numbers like the southern fried chickin' pickin' "John Deere Letter", the classical tinged "Baroque 'n Dreams", the soaring (and quite gorgeous I might add) "Unnamed Sources", and the mix of raunch & majestic beauty on the live version of the classic "Rising Power", all offer a nice contrast to the more demanding, rocking numbers.

If you loved some of the noteworthy past releases from the Steve Morse Band like Coast to Coast, Southern Steel, The Introduction, and Structural Damage, then Outstanding in Their Field will be a welcome addition to your CD collection. Steve Morse is one of rock's great guitar treasures, and if you haven't stumbled upon his talents by now, then pick this up and discover one of the leanest, meanest instrumental trios going today.

Track Listing
1. Name Dropping 4:59
2. Brink of the Edge 4:43
3. Here and Now and Then 5:06
4. Relentless Encroachment 4:55
5. John Deere Letter 4:43
6. More to the Point 4:28
7. Time Junction 5:16
8. Unnamed Sources 4:31
9. Flight of the Osprey 3:21
10. Baroque 'n Dreams 3:16
11. Rising Power (live) 9:27

Added: November 24th 2009
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2061
Language: english

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