Today, as the snow falls here in Nebraska, (they are forecasting 5 to 8 inches) I have become acutely aware that I have been lax in my blog postings lately. I have also fallen behind in my music reviews, so today I will review an album that was given to me by a good friend who also plays guitar. The artist is a common favorite of ours and a popular guitarist in the minds of many who appreciate killer guitar compositions. The artist is Joe Satriani. If you have never heard of him and you like great guitar then you have been living under a hard rock all your life. I first heard the riffs and screaming guitar sounds of Joe Satriani, or “Satch” as he is known in more appreciative circles, from a guitarist who was teaching me lead guitar many years ago. When this teacher found out that I was a Randy Rhoads (original Ozzy guitarist) fan he turned me on to “Surfing With the Alien” by Joe Satriani. The jaw dropping reaction I experienced after hearing this incredible guitarist was much like my reaction in 1978 after seeing and hearing the hammer-on and pull-off storm known as “Eruption” performed by Eddie Van Halen at St. Johns Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Who is this guy?
Since that blessed day I have been listening to the music of “Satch”. Among his guitar playing he has also found the time to help instruct others in the art of axe wielding. He helped create the talents of axemen such as Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Larry LaLonde of Primus, Marty Friedman of Megadeth, and David Bryson of Counting Crows who are now great guitarists in their own right. But they can’t compare to the master Satch. In 1995 Satch came up with an awesome idea to put together something of a guitar festival which became known as the G3 tour. Along with Satch, the tour has included many guitar greats like Steve Vai, Yngwie Malsteen, Eric Johnson, John Petrucci (Dream Theater) and Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big). Satch has become notorious for odd song titles like “Surfing With the Alien”, “The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing”, “Flying in a Blue Dream”, and “Is There Love in Space”. Along these lines comes the new album released by Satch.