Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Scott McGill reviews

Expand Messages
  • Bob Eichler / Michele Matthews
    I m still working on reviews of that pile of CDs I bought a while back, to put up on my web page. Here s a couple more: Scott McGill - The Hand Farm and Ripe
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 30, 1999
      I'm still working on reviews of that pile of CDs I bought a while back,
      to put up on my web page. Here's a couple more:

      Scott McGill - The Hand Farm and Ripe

      I'm somewhat confused as to exactly what this band's name is - the first
      disc appears to be a Scott McGill album called The Hand Farm. The
      second disc is entitled Ripe, but is credited to "Scott McGill's Hand
      Farm". So, somewhere between albums, the band took on the name of
      the first disc. To avoid confusion, I'm just going to call them Scott
      McGill albums, and use "Hand Farm" and "Ripe" as the titles of the
      discs. There's no mistake that it's McGill's band though, as he is the only
      person who appears on both discs.

      To be honest, there's not a whole lot I can think of to say about these
      CDs. The music is a guitar dominated jazz/rock fusion. The melodies are
      mostly of the 1000-note-a-minute variety, although there are a few more
      laid-back tracks of floating, atmospheric guitar parts (the first and last
      tracks on Ripe are good examples). McGill is an absolutely fantastic
      guitarist, both on electric and acoustic guitars. He manages to use more
      different chords in each individual song than most bands do on an entire
      album. Hell, more than some guitarists use in an entire career. The bass
      and drum work is also top-notch, and on rare occasions those
      instruments get to come forward and shine with their own solos. The
      Ripe album also includes a keyboardist on a couple tracks, and he plays
      with the same rapid-fire intensity that McGill uses on the guitar.

      The first disc is around 50 minutes long, the second is just over an hour.
      I bought them both at the same time (as part of a special low-price
      package deal), but I can't bring myself to listen to them consecutively -
      the music is just too "samey" for extended listens. I find that, taking it one
      disc at a time, it makes nice background music at work. I suspect that
      these will never be albums that I'll get a craving to hear - they're more
      the type of thing I'll occasionally pull out just because I haven't listened
      to them in a long while. To be honest, this type of music doesn't really
      hold my interest too much, probably because I'm not a guitarist. This
      definitely sounds like one guitarist trying to impress an audience of other
      guitarists.

      If I had to compare this music to another band, I'd probably say it
      reminds me most of the Dixie Dregs (although I'm not overly familiar
      with them, having just one live album and one "best of" collection). I've
      also heard McGill's guitar style compared to Allan Holdsworth. I guess I
      can hear it, but to be honest I don't really care for the bits of
      Holdsworth's guitar that I've heard so far - now there's a guitarist whose
      solos all sound the same. At least McGill mixes it up a little more than
      Holdsworth does.

      As I mentioned at the top of the review, the band line-up (other than
      Scott) completely changed between albums. The first album features
      Kevin Woolsten playing bass on most tracks, with Matt Cantwell taking
      the bass part on the remaining songs, and Anthony DeSimone playing
      drums. The second disc has Chico Hull on bass, Vic Stevens on drums
      and Demethrios Pappas guesting on keyboards for two tracks.

      Overall, these are very well done fusion albums. If you like hearing
      staggering displays of technical guitar virtuoso playing for hours on end,
      then you'll most likely love these albums. It's a tough call which one is
      better, but I'd probably go with Ripe, since it also features some
      keyboards.

      Given the mostly symphonic and neoprog nature of the band line-up for
      the upcoming NEARFest prog-rock festival, it will be interesting to see
      how this band is received. I'm predicting a lot of "they were very
      talented, but I didn't really care for them" sort of descriptions. Not that I
      can talk, since that's how this review sort of ended up...

      -- Bob "Bice" Eichler
    • AllGdPple@xxx.xxx
      In a message dated 4/30/99 11:08:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time, eichler@epix.net writes:
      Message 2 of 2 , May 1, 1999
        In a message dated 4/30/99 11:08:33 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
        eichler@... writes:

        <<
        Given the mostly symphonic and neoprog nature of the band line-up for
        the upcoming NEARFest prog-rock festival, it will be interesting to see
        how this band is received. I'm predicting a lot of "they were very
        talented, but I didn't really care for them" sort of descriptions. Not that I
        can talk, since that's how this review sort of ended up... >>

        great review Bob......and to be sure...there is an audience for this style.
        whether or not they are in attendance at NEARfest will answer that question
        for you.

        what you didn't mention and what i saw as most distinct about Scott's style
        is the obvious penchant he has for fuzz-laden distortion metal
        sound.....let's face it, these aren't the mantra-esque arpeggios laid down by
        McGlaughlin or the southern sass attitudinal flamboyance of Steve
        Morse.......more than anything they remind me of a combination of
        jazz-fusion guitarist John Scofield/Nuno Bettencourt(Extreme) and Al Dimeola
        . it's rare to hear a jazz-fusion guitarist whose work grinds at you like
        McGill's

        and it's also true, as you point out that there is a sameness in his work.
        but think about it....isn't that true as well, with Metheny, McGlaughlin,
        Dimeola and most jazz-fusion guitarists?

        i even remember a complaint on r.m.p. last month about the same thing
        concerning Steve Morse.

        anyway....i enjoyed your thoughts on this subject.

        kenny
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.