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California Guitar Trio

Live @ Sinnissippi Park 7/23/05 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

Produced by Snapshot Music in cooperation with California Guitar Trio, this DVD captures a 2005 show from the band in Rockford, Illinois. For those who aren't familiar with California Guitar Trio's particular brand of guitar based (well, actually guitars are the only instrument) instrumental progressive rock, let's just say that it is truly amazing what three guys with guitars and a few effects can do. From their originals to covers ranging from classical music, to spaghetti western themes, to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and a medley called "Ghost Riders On The Storm" - a combination of "Ghost Riders In The Sky" and "Riders on The Storm" these guys produce a sound like no one else can.

The video is from an outdoor concert and, while the video and audio might not be quite the top of the line, they aren't far from it. There is nothing really lacking in that department, except perhaps a few questions I have about where the camera operator chose to film - at one point he moves off the stage to catch two children playing - cute, but probably not what I would have chosen to film. Still, the vast majority of the action is on the stage, and that's precisely where the camera is most of the time.

The only other issue I have with this DVD is the clunky interface. The menu is presented in the form of two buttons - one for the band's first set and one for the second, that look like they come from a computer screen. Also, hitting the next track button doesn't take you where you would expect, rather than to the beginning of the next song, more often than not you wind up somewhere mid-song. Still, this concert is probably best watched from beginning to end, anyway.

For those who have never seen CGT live, you really need to pick this up. If you see this video you'll be just waiting for them to come around. For those who have been initiated, this video will be the perfect way to get the experience over and over again in the privacy of your home. While the release isn't all that it could be, it has it all together in the areas where it really counts. For more information, or to purchase this DVD, stop by Snapshotmusic.com.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2005 Year Book Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

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