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ARTISTS FOR CHARITY Guitarists 4 The Kids
SPI 0001(2006)

Guitarists 4 The Kids

I'm all in favour of cause related marketing and Steve Lang's CD raises funds for World Vision, a leading charity in child sponsorship and emergency aid.

Steve has assembled a rather eclectic range of fret melters, with a mixture of the well-known and the more obscure.

The trick with a compilation like this is to attract the unusual or previously unavailable tracks from the better known acts, in spite of licensing complexity, and introduce the punter to the less-familiar for further exploration. Lang has definitely succeeded in the latter.

Only one of the tracks is unique to this collection, but the album does pull together a variety of genres and evidently assembled by a guy who is passionate about guitar music. From world music flavours (Pierre Bensusan), jazz fusion to R&B/funk (Steve Salas, Mattias 'IA' Eklundh), to the ambient (Robert Fripp).

The only slip up here, as far as I can make out, is the inclusion of a 16-minute track by Steve Lukather. Now if this is designed to pull in the Lukather fanbase, fair play, but it is eastern jazz fusion-flavoured, and frankly somewhat boring. The track length is also glaringly disproportionate.

It's the lesser-known players or bands who turn up trumps: from the indie rock of DramaGods (featuring Nuno Bettencourt), to the flamenco guitars of Ottmar Liebert and Johannes Linstead, and the funky jazz fusion of Mattias "IA" Eklundh.

If twiddly-diddly, sweeps and taps are your bag you will be more than happy (and that's just after the first track). It's a good cause and deserves wider patronage, not just aspiring guitar heroes.


Review by David Randall Buy this CD

Fargo (Neil Zaza)

© 2006 Artists For Charity. All rights reserved.


***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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