I admit that although I’ve seen Carl’s name a lot, I’ve never become familiar with his playing. But after hearing this great CD, that’ll change. He’s a fabulous player whose style falls somewhere between Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the band Squeeze. Yeah I know, an enormous range there, but he really does touch all those bases.
The songs – all originals – are excellent, the vocals distinctive and the playing…well, check out the melody and pure chops of the title cut. Massive speed played with marvelous agility and a lot of soul. If that one doesn’t do it for you, go for the pop-rock of “Misunderstood.” It sounds a bit like Johnson or Vaughan playing with a pop band like Squeeze and fitting in perfectly. The drum-and-guitar shuffle of “Piece of You” will have you holding your breath and wanting more. And there’s excellent acoustic work, too. “Mercury Rain” offers a mixture of country blues and European chamber music.
I can’t recommend this enough. It’s got something for everybody. Great tunes, great playing, and everything in between. It drives me nuts people think they need to keep looking for “guitar heroes,” instead of great musicians. But if you really need to look for one, this might be the place. Great stuff.
This review originally appeared in VG‘s Nov. ’98 issue.