A Great Unexpected Rock Listening Experience
Bruce Von Stiers
Every so often I get a something unexpected from a source. What I have in mind is the instrumental rock album, Back In Time. It is from guitarist George Varhese. What makes this receipt of the album a bit unexpected is that it came from Kari Gaffney, whose PR firm primarily promotes music by jazz artists. I know that when I get something from Kari it's usually going to be great. So I was pretty sure that this album was going to pretty good as well. And it was.
George is originally from Bangalore, India. He made his way to the U.S. in 2003 to finish his education. He honed his music during his first years in the U.S. and by the late 2000's he was sharing his songs via social media. Later he teamed up with Brian Hunsaker, forming a band and then recording, all the while writing songs. Some of those songs have made it onto this new album.
The album has six songs and a play time of twenty-six minutes. It was produced by George, who also composed all of the songs on it. It was mixed by Marcel Fernandez, whose previous work includes an album by the Foo Fighters. The album was mastered by Brian “Big Bass” Gardner, who has mastered albums by Kutless, Davie Bowie and Dave Koz.
Wilfred Demoz is on drums. He's based in Bangalore, and has played with international artists like Bellowhead and Mama Kin. Steve Demar is the bass player on the album. He has played with several bands and is pretty well known in the Seattle area. Tony Das has played with Anthony Crawford. He plays rhythm guitar on this album. Gus Apostol is on keys for the album. He played with Triaxe, a band that also included George and Brian Hunsaker. And George is on guitar.
Guest performers on the album were Larry Mitchell on guitar, Parth Chandiramani on flute, Kathrick Iyer on violin and Brian Hunsaker on guitar. All of these guest performers have extensive credits behind them.
The album starts out with Lost In The Wind. There are wind effects and intense music that begin the song. Then the guitar trips in with an eerie, almost haunting rock ballad styling. Then things move onto a cool power pop rock anthem sound.
The title track, Back In Time, starts out slow and gentle. It then speeds up a bit, but not too much. It is a really slick ballad, with an almost love song vibe. There is some killer flute music in the middle of the song. And at the end of the song there is some really cool guitar.
The song Caught In A Dream has some dreamlike sound effects to start it out. Then the aching rock ballad guitar sets in. Larry Mitchell does a fantastic job with his guitar solo on the song.
Another tough rock anthem can be found in the song Eternity. It kind of reminded me of the power rock songs of the 80's.
Nearing the end of the album is the beautiful rock guitar ballad Crystal Waves. George wrote the song for his infant daughter. Not only is the guitar music in the song great, there is some excellent violin music in it as well.
The album concludes with a power pop rock tune titled Stepping Stones. It made me think of an opening tune to a concert. You know, something that is designed to amp up the crowd.
Like I wrote at the beginning of this review, the album was not one I'd expected from my source. But as much as I am a jazz fan, I'm also a huge rock guitar fan. And this album is chock full of great rock guitar music. If George Varghese keeps up this level of guitar, he may one day be as well-known as Joe Satriani or Steve Vai.
Back In Time can be purchased at CD Baby and from iTunes, Goog;ePlay and other online outlets.
Check out George's official site for additional information at http://www.georgevarghese.com/
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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers