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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Carl Verheyen

Mustang Run

Review by Gary Hill

Carl Verheyen is probably best known for his tenure in Supertramp. On this new album he even covers a Supertramp song (or perhaps “rethinks” is the better description). There are a number of guest musicians here including Chad Wackerman, Stuart Hamm, Bill Evans, Gregg Bissonette, Jerry Goodman and Simon Phillips. This album is mostly fusion, but some tracks take it in other directions. This is a strong disc and has enough variety to keep it very interesting.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Taylor's Blues

There is a great blues goes jazz vibe to this thing. At times I’m reminded just a bit of Dixie Dregs.

Julietta and the St. George
Intricate melodic guitar starts this and as the cut builds I’m reminded of Genesis just a bit. It works out to more fusion territory from there, though. They take this one through quite a few shifts and changes and it’s great high energy, melodic fusion. The Dregs come up as a reference point again, but this has a lot more than that going on, too.
Fusioneers Disease
Starting with melodic jazz, this fires out into furious and fierce fusion. It’s a real monster and one of the standouts of the set. I love the piano solo mid-track on this thing. The whole thing gets pretty crazed as they move forward from there. This thing really works through some killer changes as it continues. It’s quite a diverse ride, really.
Last Days of Autumn
More melodic fusion is the general concept here. I like this one a lot.
Amandola
This is another that makes me think of The Dregs. There is some great melodic jamming on this one.
Bloody Well Right
Here Verheyen revisits his Supertramp roots. This includes some vocals and saxophone. This is served up as a bluesy, guitar driven tune. I like this rendition. Sure, I prefer the original, but this is a great twist on it. The smoking hot guitar solo dominated instrumental section leading to the end is especially hot.
Riding the Bean
Here we’ve got more of country rock meets fusion sort of jam. This is energetic and fun. There are a number of different twists and turns. I love the short funky bass dominated section in particular. Later in the track, it shifts to mellower progressive rock stylings that hold it for a while.
Passage to Run
Melodic fusion combines with an instrumental prog rock type sound on this piece. It’s a really killer with some inspired instrumental work. Again I could see comparisons being made to The Dregs at times on this piece. It’s got some particularly inspired instrumental work and just plain rocks. There are moments here that make me think of Jean-Luc Ponty, too.
Mustang Run
The melodic fusion on this is a bit on the funky side at times. I love the rubbery bass line running under much of this thing. The piece keeps shifting and changing and evolving as they work through it.
Fourth Door on the Right
The bass leads us out here. They launch into some killer fusion from there. The guitar soloing on this thing reaches some seriously soaring heights. The saxophone also gets an inspired (and extended) solo on this piece.
Spirit of Julia
The melodic jamming on this is great. It’s got a bit more of a blues vibe to it than anything else, but ultimately this is still fusion.
 
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