Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Psychedelic Cowboy by John DePatie

I was very excited by this submission because John DePatie is a professional guitar player, a "sideman", and I really like guitar instrumentals that are well inspired (Joe Satriani is a bit of a god to me.)

The album opens with "Reggatta de Guitarra", an instrumental that seems as if it could have been created while vacationing in Jamaica. A little criticism: I didn't really like the melodic motif going up the scale as it sounded a bit forced, especially at the 4th iteration. Maybe it's a detail but that bugged me. The tone changes towards a more rock n'roll feel with "Jellyfish" while still maintaining a tiny bit of a reggae vibe (at least, at the beginning). The track evolves (always a good thing) and gives us, listeners, a nice melodic hook to sink our ears into. Then comes the title track, "Psychedelic Cowboy". It starts with an acoustic guitar which is soon accompanied by a vintage sounding electric guitar. That kind of transports us to somewhere on the west coast, maybe at the beach after surfing the waves. "Jaeljo Overture" brings the tempo way down. It features an acoustic and what sounds like a glockenspiel. The melody is incredibly strong, making this track my favorite of the album, so far. "Song For My Dad" sounds like an hymn with a drum track reduced to the bare minimum. It's a beautiful track. "Up To My Eyeballs" is a bit different as there's a bass that does a number at the beginning. The track evolves into a two voice tune, each voice or guitar with its own melodic line. "Wind Chimes From Jupiter" showcases some extravagant picking work and a melody that's just, well, inspired. That's another favorite of mine, right alongside "Jaeljo Overture". "Counting Sheep", the last track of the album, is, as its name implies, a little lullaby. A perfect way to end an album, any album.

The tracks in this album seem to evolve over time. That's a very good thing. They also have strong melodies. That's another very good thing, especially for this blog. This is much more restrained than Joe Satriani, no doubt, but it's not a bad thing at all. My favorite tracks in the album are actually the slower ones: "Jaeljo Overture" and "Wind Chimes From Jupiter". It is without a doubt a great little album.

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