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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Clark Colborn

Ones And Zeros

Review by Greg Olma

We now live in a world where artists release digital singles and in many cases forgo the whole album experience.  This could be a good business model moving forward but I’m still an old-school kind of guy who likes to hold and cherish my music.  I like having a physical copy of my music so I was happy to see Clark Colborn gather some of his cover versions and release them as an EP.  For those of you who don’t know who Colborn is, get yourself acquainted.  He is a guitarist who has a little bit of that Joe Satriani/Steve Vai vibe going but you have to add a bit of Frank Zappa quirkiness to the mix.  I was first introduced to Colborn on the Will Sing for Food: A Charity Album to Benefit the Rock River Valley Food Pantry, Rockford, Illinois CD, and his track was my favorite on that disc.  While I may put him in the guitar shredder category, like Satriani and Vai, Colborn has a great sense of melody and he lets the song come first.  Even though he did not write the tracks on offer here, he somehow still makes them his own without taking away from the original.  For those of you who need an introduction to him, this is a good place to start.  You can dip your toe in the water by getting  to hear his style but on tunes you probably already know.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 5 at

Track by Track Review
Eleanor Rigby

Colborn takes on The Beatles classic and lets his guitar do the singing on this one.  In my opinion, this version has a very Queen like sound with layered guitars and an orchestral feel.  I really like this version because even though I know and love this song, it is different enough to keep me interested.


I can’t decide which one of these cover tunes I like best but this one just rocks.  This Stevie Wonder classic still retains some of the funk but it is given a healthy dose of metal.  Like I mentioned in the main review, Colborn makes sure that the song is still recognizable but he adds his guitar talent in such a way that it adds to the original without taking anything away.  Melissa Ridgeway’s vocals add another new dimension to the tune.  Think Pat Benatar singing over Joe Satriani and that will give you a close comparison.

Baba O’Riley

This Who classic is a little darker that the original.  Gone are the soaring Roger Daltrey vocals and it is played a bit more raw.  Colborn is a one man show on this one, handling the vocals, bass, and drums along with guitar.  The drumming is really quite good, and it has that loose Keith Moon style which obviously fits perfectly with this cut.

Unlisted Track - Fire

Everyone seems to have covered Jimi Hendrix at some point in their careers but Colburn not only plays the tune, he gives us a little history of the early days of hard rock and why Hendrix is still relevant today.  He plays this one very close to the original (once the song kicks in) but with the whole history part, he makes this live version fun and a showpiece. 

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