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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Marty Walsh

The Total Plan

Review by Gary Hill

Marty Walsh is probably best known for his work playing guitar with Supertramp. This new album finds him creating instrumental music that sort of sits somewhere between AOR prog and fusion. He’s got a lot of guests, too. For instance, Billy Sherwood handles the bass on “Feeling Free.” This is a great set because it never becomes a guitar showcase. Nor does it ever lose the groove or melody.

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
Like a Rock

Combining something like a Joe Satriani guitar rock groove with a real fusion and prog sound, this is a great tune. It’s melodic and powerful. There’s a trippy little break mid-track, too.

Feeling Free
There is a great good time vibe to this. Yet the soloing over the top again lends a bit of fusion to the mix.
Groove Mechanics

This is well-titled because it really does have a great groove. It’s very jazzy with a healthy dosage of the blues thrown into the mix. It’s got some great sounds and really has some of the coolest jazz jamming here.

Fuel
There’s a bit more of a straightahead rock and roll vibe here. It’s got a lot of energy, but that’s appropriate for a song bearing the title “fuel.” I love the saxophone solo and this is really a highlight of the set. There is a cool little drum solo here that feeds into a rhythm section workout with some tasty bass work. That gives way to a return to the main section of the composition. In some ways this makes me think of The Dregs a bit.
Coast to Coast
In some ways this is mellower particularly at first. It’s got some great jazz sound. It reminds me a bit of some of the Spanish influenced jazz that came out in the 1960s. This is just great stuff. It gets quite involved and powerful as it continues.
Inside the Rain
I love the guitar soloing on this song. It’s particularly expressive and melodic. The piano is noteworthy, too. Overall, I like this tune a lot. It’s a highlight of the disc to me.
The Duke
There’s a retro organ sound on this. It doesn’t temper the smoking hot guitar soloing, though. Yet, they never lose sight of the groove on this thing.
The Road
This one is a bit more reserved with a bit more of folk music vibe to it. Some of the guitar on this brings some blues to the table.   
Back Pages
At times there is almost an electronic music element here. This includes some scorching guitar soloing, too, though. It gets extremely intense later.
Now Is the Time
I love the saxophone soloing on this, but the whole tune is awesome, really. It’s a great jam. It starts mellower and works its way up to more energy and power. It’s a satisfying closer, that’s for sure.

 

 
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