Guthrie Govan's Solo Album is Finally Out!

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Ant711UK
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I'm struggling like mad to understand how I feel about it!

It sounds like a mad schizophrenic has just made the most 'outrageously difficult to play' guitar album ever. There are styles of playing on the CD that I wouldn't usually choose to listen to but I am forced to because the songs change in a split second. I thought I would dislike the fact that it has so many different types of playing from the clips but I actually really like it.

More later, when it's sunk in....

Tony
alexkhan
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Ant711UK wrote:I'm struggling like mad to understand how I feel about it!

It sounds like a mad schizophrenic has just made the most 'outrageously difficult to play' guitar album ever. There are styles of playing on the CD that I wouldn't usually choose to listen to but I am forced to because the songs change in a split second. I thought I would dislike the fact that it has so many different types of playing from the clips but I actually really like it.

More later, when it's sunk in....

Tony
Hey Tony, you're feeling what a LOT of people are feeling (including myself!) listening to this album. It's like you want to talk about a thousand different things at once and you don't know where the hell to begin! :shock: There is so much information on this album that it prompts your brain into overload. You're simutaneously challenged, entertained, soothed, left breathless, blown away, and inspired. Even when it sinks in, you're at a loss of words. It's the frickin' most intense guitar album I've ever heard and what makes it so is that the actual playing (which is totally over the top) takes a back seat to the music.
Ant711UK
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Yep! I tend to agree with you...

I can hear all sorts of influences throughout but what makes it sound like GG himself I suppose, is the way he makes them all fit smoothly into his little musical space each time.

What I found really strange is the way 'Hangover' actually ‘feels’ like a hangover when you hear it!?..........Weird!!

He has to tour with this album and he has to do it with another guitar player to make it sound as near to the recorded versions as possible.

A positive quote from a big name player or two would help him massively in my opinion (Mikey, maybe you could get Steve to take a listen) as people will want to take notice.

Tony
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Big Bad Bill
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Uncle Skunk continues to remind me of Vai-especially the use of Whammy pedal which reminds me a little of Touching Tongues-sort of! I love this track the most so far. Also the weird tapping thing at the end of 'Eric' is very cool. I think 'Rhode Island Shred' is my least favourite-country is not my thing-even done at this break-neck speed, but I suspect it'll grow on me!

Has anyone noticed that 'Erotic Cakes' is different to the 'Introducing.....' version. I have to say I prefer the latter version as the first solo break is just that bit sweeter as GG bends, holds and vibs in a few places that really make your knees go! Also 'Wonderful Slippery Thing' is different-opening and closing low pass filter at the beginning and and extra clean rhythm part at the end (if memory serves!).
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Big Bad Bill
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Ooooo, 'Waves' is very nice too!

What are the chances of the TAB book being out before the next millenium? I have to work out Erotic Cakes as I love that jagged, syncopated rhythm.
treeduck
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Big Bad Bill wrote:Uncle Skunk continues to remind me of Vai-especially the use of Whammy pedal which reminds me a little of Touching Tongues-sort of! I love this track the most so far. Also the weird tapping thing at the end of 'Eric' is very cool. I think 'Rhode Island Shred' is my least favourite-country is not my thing-even done at this break-neck speed, but I suspect it'll grow on me!

Has anyone noticed that 'Erotic Cakes' is different to the 'Introducing.....' version. I have to say I prefer the latter version as the first solo break is just that bit sweeter as GG bends, holds and vibs in a few places that really make your knees go! Also 'Wonderful Slippery Thing' is different-opening and closing low pass filter at the beginning and and extra clean rhythm part at the end (if memory serves!).

Yeah Uncle Skunk does seem to be a nod to Vai. As for the country I'm used to rock guitarists doing country, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Andy Timmons, John 5 and I'm a fan of Albert Lee and Danny Gatton so it's food and drink to me. I'm starting to prefer the album version of Wonderful slippery Thing now it just seems to be so perfectly realised, definitely destined to be a classic...
Ant711UK
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OK I've listened a few times now and the tracks I'm instantly into are 'Fives' and 'Waves'. The others are all good but they don't hit me in the way those two do. I'm not into the 'Chicken Pickin' track much although It's obviously difficult to play. I'm always amazed when I hear any good bluegrass or banjo players playing country but it's not my thing. There are some really Vaiesque moments in a few songs but he does enough around them to make the parts truly his own. His ultra fast tapping/arpeggio linked stuff and it's tone is what defines his own sound. The fact that he plays all styles to such an incredible standard and strings them all together doesn't necessarily give him his own sound, but when I assemble the parts of the songs as whole in my head, linked with stuff that I haven't heard anyone play before, I think aah! I get it, that's his playing, that is Guthrie Govan!

I listen to loads of players and only a few press the right buttons with me.
Vai presses all of them 99.9% of the time, Lukather & Satriani nearly all of them most of the time and I really like some of Rob Balducci's stuff.
GG presses all of them when he's playing in an area that I understand but the problem with me is that my understanding is limited and although he's quite obviously amazing, he loses me in places.

I definitely think this is a landmark CD!

Tony
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Big Bad Bill
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treeduck wrote:Yeah Uncle Skunk does seem to be a nod to Vai. As for the country I'm used to rock guitarists doing country, Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Andy Timmons, John 5 and I'm a fan of Albert Lee and Danny Gatton so it's food and drink to me. I'm starting to prefer the album version of Wonderful slippery Thing now it just seems to be so perfectly realised, definitely destined to be a classic...
I'm hope I'm not coming across as being overly critical-I do love this album-including the country stuff!

I think I prefer the crisper version of Erotic Cakes in 'Introducing...' than the 'live vibe' with all the handling noise etc. but one always has an affinity with the first version os any song you here. I wasn't keen on The Kinks verison of 'You Really Got Me' as the first version I heard was VH's!

GG CD is brilliant-I just hope it gets a wider listen than I think it's going to-especially in the USA. I wonder if FN might be interested in GG?
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Big Bad Bill
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Thought I'd sit down and work at least the intro for this great, spikey tune, but I'm finding the right notes are totally evading me! I listen, I work it out, but when I play along, I seem to be semitones out here and there. It's just the first 14sec and I'm getting really frustrated! Can anybody help me out before bited my arms off in frustrations? This is what I have so far and I'n sure it's got many errors in it. Can anybody help-please?

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cioran
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Um, hate to lag behind in the conversation, but did you guys get order confirmations from Paul, and if so, how long did it take? Thus far I have only a PayPal invoice to my name, and that's it.
I'm hoping/guessing they're stretched over there, but this doesn't bode well re delivery times etc.

All the best.
Ant711UK
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I'd mail him if I were you and ask when it's due out to you.
The UK postal system changed on the 21st and that may have delayed things a bit. The marketing and organisation for the CDs release could have been a bit better in my opinion. At the end of the day you only get one chance at a release of a debut CD and after hearing it I think this one deserved as much hype as possible. There's no website up yet and it looks as though Paul Cornford is selling everything from his place in Kent with no real distribution setup in place for it. This album will take a while longer than it should to get out to people, but it will in the end because it has some real quality playing on it.

I've listened to it loads of times now and although it is probably one of the most interesting and 'different' types of guitar album out there, the songs aren't bedding themselves in my head the way Vai's stuff does, and that's probably down to the fact that the compositions aren't quite as good as the playing. Vai's compositions are structured from top to bottom with painstaking detail and every note played by every instrument is there for the right reason. GG's compositions have a lot of that type of structure to them but in my opinion he allows bass solos and drum breaks to move away from the core of the track and take me somewhere that I find slightly less interesting. Some people will love the Jamming feel to some of the tracks and it'll be right up their street.

It's a 'must have' album for any guitar player!

Tony
cioran
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Thanks, Tony, I'll mail him. How am I gonna make it till it gets here? Hm, these walls look just right for climbing....
alexkhan
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Ant711UK wrote:I'd mail him if I were you and ask when it's due out to you.
The UK postal system changed on the 21st and that may have delayed things a bit. The marketing and organisation for the CDs release could have been a bit better in my opinion. At the end of the day you only get one chance at a release of a debut CD and after hearing it I think this one deserved as much hype as possible. There's no website up yet and it looks as though Paul Cornford is selling everything from his place in Kent with no real distribution setup in place for it. This album will take a while longer than it should to get out to people, but it will in the end because it has some real quality playing on it.

I've listened to it loads of times now and although it is probably one of the most interesting and 'different' types of guitar album out there, the songs aren't bedding themselves in my head the way Vai's stuff does, and that's probably down to the fact that the compositions aren't quite as good as the playing. Vai's compositions are structured from top to bottom with painstaking detail and every note played by every instrument is there for the right reason. GG's compositions have a lot of that type of structure to them but in my opinion he allows bass solos and drum breaks to move away from the core of the track and take me somewhere that I find slightly less interesting. Some people will love the Jamming feel to some of the tracks and it'll be right up their street.

It's a 'must have' album for any guitar player!

Tony
You have to remember that a lot of these tunes are fairly old - some stretching back well over a decade. Compositionally, I don't think a lot of these tunes reflect where Guthrie is now as a writer. It's a pretty accurate reflection of where Guthrie is as a player, but as a writer, I don't think anyone besides Guthrie knows exactly where he is. I do hear that he's got a lot of new different kinds of stuff in his vault.

I agree that it's a lot more jazzy (or fusiony) than Vai's albums. Guthrie plays in a local jazz band called the Fellowship in his hometown once a week and they play rollicking versions of jazz standards, so he's got a deep love for jazz that you don't normally see in rock players. The same goes for his love of country, bottleneck blues, Indian raga, techno, folk, flamenco, and all kinds of other stuff. And he's really into improvising. You'll never hear him play the same solo twice and that sometimes disappoints people who are used to hearing something by him a certain way.

Being that I'm quite into jazz (I'm also a huge Pat Metheny fan), the heavy modern jazz influence you hear on the album is something I really dig a lot, but I can understand that it won't be everyone's cup of tea. Overall, I'm not a country music fan but I do love great country guitar-playing, so his expertise in that realm is another plus for me. And the thing is that this album only scratches the surface of all the things he's capable of. I've seen him do so many other kinds of stuff: ripping on a nylon-string acoustic that'd be at home with the likes of McLaughlin and Paco DeLucia, playing fingerstyle jazz a la Joe Pass, doing acoustic fingerstyle stuff a la Tuck Andress or Preston Reed, playing weird out-there Indian raga microtonal stuff on a fretless guitar, playing slide guitar a la Sonny Landreth and Derek Trucks, playing metal riffs a la Meshuggah - it's like there's no end to what he could do. I'm not saying Guthrie could do all these things as good as these guys who are masters of each particular genre and style, but man, Guthrie can get pretty damn close.

Guthrie's only 34 and just getting started with a bonafide solo career. He's going to get better and better at every aspect of what he does. Guthrie's potential is so vast that it's difficult to imagine what he could be doing, say, 5 or 10 years from now. It's going to be an amazing ride and we'll be hearing a lot about him for many years to come.
MatJB
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Guthrie is incredible. I'm getting this for sure.
alexkhan
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Well, the early reviews are pouring in. I've been getting a lot of emails, too, from those that I notified about the album.
Ed,

This album is INSANE!! :) Can't thank you enough for pointing me in the direction of this hairy Englishman!! Awesome!!

Cheers
Jase in Australia

A FEW REVIEWS FROM AROUND THE NET
I got my copy yesterday and I am trully impressed and in awe. This album is simply superb, something to listen to for many many hours and still appreciate different things every new listen.

For me, it would be among the best 10 instrumental guitar albums ever recorded, and maybe among the best 3 rock-shred instrumental ones. I can only think of Alien love secrets and Time Machine as albums that I enjoyed so much and thought were THAT GOOD.

IMHO, a good 90% of his leads here are completely hot and inspired. What I am trying to say is that it is very difficult to find a lick or a phrase that you would think is filler or simply could be better. Everything here makes sense and fits so perfectly that it´s scary...

And yeah, his tones are... Damn, I wish I could get even close to sounding that good...
I’ve only had time to play this once so far, but I have to say that it’s the best instrumental CD that I’ve bought in years! I’m usually a bit wary of CDs with only guitar/bass/drums, and find them a bit hard going without a little keyboard ‘colour’ – but this one blows that misconception right out of the water!

This is NOT a shred album (we all knew that!) it is an album with superb, tasteful playing and excellent technique. The compositions are really interesting, with nods to a few other famous players. Bumblefoot and Richie Kotzen both have (short) guest slots. The liner notes are interesting, with GG commenting on each song with his usual sense of humour.

Anyone who appreciates excellent playing should get a hold of this record. Essential!
The CD is just incredible, I gave it a few days rest to listen to some jazz/metal, then went back to it yesterday, and it's stupidly good. Ner Ner i'm liking a lot more, I think it's Ritchie's solo is incredible, and the title track is terrific too. Very Zappa-esque. Waves is amazing, the main theme is so hypnotic, and the tone is gorgeous. The section from 1:10 in sevens is beautiful, again, very hypnotic.

'Eric', I found very confusing at first, I guess because I was expecting an acoustic piece! But the rolling 'chorus' is just amazing. Hmm, think i'll go listen to this now!
First day of having it and i must have already listened to it over 8 times, it is awesome, his playing is so tasteful and melodic.
Got mine today, i have to say it is AWESOME, it has everything, shred, tapping, melody, chord melody. Stunning, I have it on my 5th loop hehe.
I got mine today too. Utterly brilliant. His playing on this CD is superb.
I just got my copy through today. OMFG OMFG OMFG OMFG!!!!!!!!!!! This guy makes me wanna give up right now. Technique and melody nicely fused together with awsome performance from the band as well as Guthrie. Makes me wish i had my own band. Guys, this is a must. Put your money where your mouth is and buy a piece of guitar history in the making.
Already got mine.... was the best CD purchase I made in ages...
I recieved my copy of Erotic Cakes this morning.

I was expecting it to be good, but it has truly blown me away. I particularly like 'Waves', the intro is immense, opening th album classly. I'm hoping Guthrie will be doin an album tour.
Got my copy this morning. This album is fantastic! I think 'Waves' is my favorite track so far.

As far as the production goes - I was getting annoyed that it was taking so long. Now I've listened to it however, its obvious that a huge amount of effort has gone into it. It was worth the wait!

You must buy this album now!
Although there's clearly a ton of fantastic guitar playing, what I really love is the overall feeling of fun, imagination and creativity.
Here's my 2 cents.....

Firstly, I was almost nervous to hear this album(!). It's been such a long time coming, and I was starting to doubt if we'd ever hear it......but jeez, the very first listen set me straight!

- 'Waves' is just a stunning piece of music. The production on this track alone is worth the cost of the CD.
- 'Eric' is a great piece, and a fantastic tribute to Mr Roche.
- And something I haven't seen mentioned much here.... 'Wonderful Slippery Thing'!! The album version just sounds incredible. Maybe it's the context it's set in (surrounded by his other tunes), but for me it's a highlight of the album.

As a whole, I love it. The playing, the tones, and definitely the production are really top class. Guthrie has really delivered, and I hope this album brings him the recognition he deserves.

And on and on and on and on on so many forums... There are literally hundreds of reviews out there already and reports are that sales is going really well with the strong word-of-mouth and all the positive reviews. So far, there has been no advertising or no articles/interviews/reviews on any magazines, but these things will all come soon. It does seem that Guthrie is finally headed for the big-time although that's still going to take some time. I'm really happy for the guy. Just the fact that he's as humble and down-to-earth as he is talented as a player and musician just makes it all that much sweeter.:D
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