CD: 11 Songs; 64:00 Minutes
Styles: Blues Covers, Rock Covers, Traditional Electric Blues
In the Oscar-winning film Amadeus, one of the Emperor’s court composers accuses Mozart of having “too many notes” in one of his operas. Walter Trout fans might recognize this criticism, too, as it has been applied to their blues-rock guitar idol. However, as Mozart and Trout both know, musical showmanship is what makes a legend. Canada’s Stony Plain Records proved it in 2014, showcasing Guitar Heroes on a single album. Its cover art states that they are “IN PERSON”, with this phrase upon a guitar pick that eerily resembles an Ouija board’s planchette. Below the marquee bearing the CD’s title on the cover, there is another circle proclaiming that James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, and David Wilcox are “MAKING HISTORY”. For two final superlatives, this posse is “Amazing” and “Electric”.
Truly, no one makes the shredder sparks fly quite like they do, especially when performing instrumental solos. They’ve selected ten perennial blues covers, including “Susie Q”, “That’s All Right (Mama), “Flip, Flop and Fly” and “Leave My Woman Alone”, on which to display their powerhouse prowess. Track ten, “Bad Apple”, is the sole original, mentioned further below.
According to the CD liner notes, James Burton’s career highlights include eleven years with Rickie Nelson and Elvis Presley. He’s also played with Jerry Lee Lewis, John Denver, Merle Haggard, and Roy Orbison. Albert Lee spent five years with Eric Clapton and has also accompanied Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band, along with the Everly Brothers. Amos Garrett has performed with Bonnie Raitt, Jerry Garcia, Martin Mull, and in Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis”. David Wilcox has garnered broadcast fame on the Ian Tyson and Nashville North TV shows, along with being one of Canada’s premier guitar pickers, with gold and platinum solo albums to his credit. All of these accolades add up to a resume that almost can’t be topped.
Backing these guitar gods, live at the Vancouver Island MusicFest on July 12, 2013, are Jon Greathouse on keyboards/lead vocals, Will MacGregor on bass, and Jason Harrison Smith on drums/background vocals. They wowed the crowd with timeless tunes, plus one of their own:
Track 10: “Bad Apple” – This slow stomp with a growling intro is David Wilcox’s originaly-written rebuke to anyone who thinks he might spoil the blues barrel: “My teacher tried to tell me, my teacher tried to tell me, I could never succeed in the world of business. I said, ‘That’s okay, Teacher, ‘cause I never did want to give anybody the ‘business’. But, Teacher, we have a message for you, Teacher. You need to eat a slice of humble pie, and the longer you wait, the worse it’s going to taste!” Millions around the globe can probably relate to having the reputation stated in the title.
Remember Veni; vidi; vici – “I came, I saw, I conquered”? Blues fans, when you put this CD into your boom-box or player, come for the guitar. See how fantastically these four tear up the floor. Conquer your doldrums with these Guitar Heroes!