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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Dave Edmunds

On Guitar...Dave Edmunds – Rags & Classics

Review by Gary Hill

I am in no way suggesting that Dave Edmunds is a prog rock musician. The argument could be made that this album isn’t prog, either. Still, the whole concept of instrumental music is a proggy kind of thing. Add in the fact that some of this does fit as prog and others parts land along the lines of fusion and you’ll be near to understanding the thought process. Then, take into consideration the territory this shares with some of Steve Howe’s solo works, and you’ll probably get why I’ve included it under prog. I like this album no matter the classification, though Edmunds puts in some exceptional performances, and the whole thing manages to entertain.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Beyond the transformation to instrumental form, this Procol Harum classic gets a fairly faithful rendition. The guitar handles the vocal lines with style. This is such a cool song no matter how it’s done. This really does it justice.

I Believe I Can Fly
This comes in with a sound that makes me think of something that might have been featured in a Disney film. Then it moves to the song proper feeling a bit like Pink Floyd and a bit like fusion. There are some vocals of just “I can fly,” but they might be samples.
God Only Knows
Beatlesque jamming is quite tasty here. The guitar is particularly effective delivering the vocal melodies here. At times the guitar playing on this makes me think of Steve Howe just a bit.
Wuthering Heights
This has some great sounds. It’s perhaps more of a straight rocker than it is proggy. Still, there are fusion elements at play in some ways.
Your Song
I’m a big Elton John fan, so this is welcome. The guitar really creates some nice musical moments here. Edmunds sure knows how to bring emotion out with his playing. There is almost a country vibe to this in some ways, too.
Black Mountain Rag
This energized number has a lot of bluegrass built into it. It’s precisely the kind of thing that often shows up on Steve Howe solo albums. It’s a lot of fun.
Classical Gas
This is definitely one of the best versions I’ve ever heard of this old chestnut. It really manages to rock. This is a full on progressive rock thing, too.
Green Onions
I’ve always loved this song. This killer rendition really works well. It’s pretty faithful, but manages to bring some new things to the table, too.
Cannonball Rag
This is again the kind of folk music meets bluegrass kind of thing that would fit on a Steve Howe solo album.
Symphony No. 40 In G Minor, Molto Allegro (Mozart)
A classical treatment, this is great stuff.
 
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