Ed DeGenaro is a Seattle-based session cat and bonafide guitar monster with great ideas and chops. His music is a fusion of musical styles and influences that often intermingle within the same composition. DeGenaro concocts an eclectic arsenal of sonic delights (fretted, unfretted, electric, acoustic and guitar-synth) that sporadically brings to mind Scott Henderson, Shawn Lane and Frank Gambale.
Dog House is a stylistic stew of country, jazz, blues, Latin and sampling components seamlessly intertwined with pristine production and humor. It opens with the countrified workout “Twang This!,” which immediately segues into the country-blues-fusion of “Teutonic Hellbelly.” “Fretless in Seattle” is DeGenaro’s guitar opus and Exhibit A for those who want to hear what great fretless guitar should sound like. The music keeps on coming with nary a break between songs. Like a soundtrack for a world traveler, each song pops, bursts and soothes with nifty guitar tones and hip vibes. From the Middle East to the Mid-West, DeGenaro gets it all in while tipping his hat to Weather Report, Steely Dan, Bireli Lagrene and Tommy Emmanuel.
On the blaxploitation soundtrack feel of “SFW” and the Dixie Dregs-esque “North Coast,” DeGenaro unleashes the note density, but the track “Charlie Parker Goes Heavy Metal” is where he goes ballistic. Exploring the link between shred and be-bop, DeGenaro plays the kind of stuff that sends lesser players back to the woodshed. Co-produced and arranged by multi-Grammy winner Anton Pukshansky, Dog House has spotless production values and is an aural buffet for the guitar freak that enjoys great playing, diverse genres, and cool ideas.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.