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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Ned Evett

Treehouse

Review by Gary Hill

Ned Evett has an intriguing blend of sounds. At points he plays in a very bluesy motif. At other times he’s closer to classic rock. Sometimes he even wanders near progressive rock. But, then there are also folk songs. It’s quite a diverse bag here. The only real problem with this disc is the layout. All the folky songs are in the second half of the disc. That makes it feel a bit samey in that section. It would have been a much stronger album had he sprinkled those pieces throughout the first half of the set.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Pure Evil

This is a smoking hot acoustic based blues number. It’s sort of like a George Thorogood sound, but without the electric guitar fire. This has a killer guitar solo, and that is electric.

Falling In Line
The same melodic, mostly acoustic motif is the order of the day here. That said, this is set more in a classic rock texture than blues. It even moves out towards progressive rock. There’s a cool bit later that is just finger snapping with vocals over the top. Later it becomes more of a hard rocking jam band sound for a while.
Break My Fall
This reminds me of a more acoustic based version of an early Aerosmith sound. That said, it also works out to something close to modern progressive rock (I also hear some King’s X here) later. There are certainly psychedelic elements in this tune.
Nightmare and a Dream Come True
A harder rocking jam, this has some bluesy sound, but overall is more like a turbo charged classic rocker. Aerosmith might be a valid reference here, too.
Sayonara Serenade
Coming in with a harder rocking sound, this works out to something closer to modern progressive rock merged with a classic pop rock texture.
Just About Over This Time
Classic rock merges with modern pop rock on this number. It’s basically a power ballad and it’s the mellowest tune to this point on the set. It’s also very effective and has some hints of The Beatles at times.
Mars River Delta 2128
The opening segment of this is an intricate and folky acoustic guitar solo. That section holds it for the first minute plus. Then the vocals join, but the music isn’t really changed. This really does feel like a folk song.
Bend Me
The folk sounds continue here. This is a bouncy little number that really feels like it could have been released in the 1960s.
Treehouse
There’s more energy on this tune and it really has a modern alternative rock texture, but there are still hints of classic rock and classic blues sounds.
Say Goodbye for Both of Us
A bluesy, folk type song, this is another mellow one. It’s got a bouncy sort of rhythm to it, though.
Why Can't I Believe
This song really should have appeared earlier in the set. The first half contained a lot of diverse and harder rocking numbers. That means this mellow folk meets alternative pop number would have fit better there. It’s just too much like the mellower nature of the last few songs. Well, that is until it gets more power later.
Getting Over Someone Too
And, here we get a slow moving acoustic folk song. Again, it’s a good tune, but really suffers from placement. I’m sure putting similar songs together seems like a great idea for thematic reasons, but it really causes the flow of the set by making things too monolithic on this second half. That said, there is a nice bluesy guitar solo on this number.
Dead On a Saturday Night
Now, this is more like it. It’s a energized rocker that has a lot of old time rock and roll built into it. The killer blues guitar solo later is among the best of the whole set. In fact, this one is really a highlight.
Don't Despair
This one has a classic rock meets progressive rock texture to it. It’s another change of pace, although it’s not really a highlight. Still, it’s a reasonably strong number to close the set. There are some hints of Led Zeppelin later in the tune. This cut includes some particularly noteworthy guitar soloing.
 
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