by Ross CAT

By Ross Cat.
   JOE COOL….. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of “Not Of This Earth” the debut album from musical maverick JOE SATRIANI. Since then the guitar master has blazed a new trial bringing instrumental music to the mainstream. With his ingenious teaching techniques SATCH has helped hatch some of music’s most artistic axe-man, that prestigious list includes METALLICA’S Kirk Hammett as well as G-3 alum STEVE VAI. The world renowned G-3 tours have become legendary as SATRIANI’S down to earth persona allows his students and peers to share the stage with the maestro himself. Launched in 1995 by SATRIANI the G-3 project was designed to bring together the planet’s most innovative guitarist in a festival format. These shows provide fans with the opportunity to witness in one night the world’s guitar greats; players like Yngwie Malmsteen, John Pettrucci, and Eric Johnson have joined SATCH as they strut their stuff night after night. Each performer dazzles with their individual styles during their sets; yet the competitive spirit of each musician sets a standard that is unequaled by any other live performance. The only way to close out a show of this caliber is to bring it all home with a jam session that can be best described as “Not Of This Earth”. To witness this potent assembly jam to classics like “Foxey Lady”, “Smoke On The Water” and “Little Wing”; to name just a few is absolutely mind-blowing. The G-3 Live series are all available for your listening and viewing pleasure @
    Satriani’s latest effort “Super Colossal”, his tenth studio album, is another stellar collection of thirteen new songs released on Epic records March 14th. Although categorized as an instrumental record these songs should not be confused with the self-indulgent guitar solo. Even without laying vocal tracks for his songs SATRIANI has somehow managed to channel through and convey his message. His melodies and riffs deliver as much spirit and emotion even without a spoken word. The disc opens with the title track that takes you on a powerful ride leading you to a jubilant space. Like all his music SATRIANI opens up and draws from within, the love of his family and craft resonate throughout the record. Track twelve, “A Love Eternal” is a burning ballad that takes you to the summit of passion proclaiming is life long love for his wife RUBINA. Closing out this emotional journey is “Crowd Chant”, a song that could very well be booming across ballpark stadiums this summer alongside “Shout” or Gary Glitters “Rock and Roll”. The disc is a must for any music fan as SATRIANI touches on every musical element imaginable; “It’s So Good”.
    NIGHTLIFE had the privilege to speak with the “Slick” guitarist as he makes his final preparations to take the show on the road along with ERIC JOHNSON. The “Super Colossal” tour will be making a stop here in Buffalo at the CENTER FOR THE ARTS @ UNIVERSITY OF BUFFALO ( next Monday April 10th, as they continue to bring in first-class entertainment to the area.

  R.Cat.- Congratulations on another amazing record. This disc more then any other really touches on a variety of musical styles, is that a conscience decision or do the songs just filter themselves out that way?

  J.S.- Thanks so much, I’m glad you enjoyed it. That’s a good question, it really shines the light on the fact that I really don’t know where I’m going when I start out.  I purposely don’t corral my writing style until I think I have too many songs. At that point I start to edit out songs; I look for things that may tie them together despite being of a different stylistic quality. Although the songs may take different avenues I hope that they help me get from one part of the album to another. The unusual qualities to the songs allow me to experiment and explore.

  R.Cat.- Do you find it more difficult to create music without laying down vocal tracks to the songs?

  J.S.- At this point in my career I’ve had so much experience recording without vocals that if someone asked me to make an album complete with vocals I’d be thinking Oh God how am I going to come up with all those lyrics. Just as if you asked a rock band to do an instrumental album they would have a difficult time, finding that the task is just as daunting. I was once told by a manager of mine that if you have something to say then say it, if you don’t then don’t say anything. In other words don’t manufacture something that isn’t there just for entertainment value. It’s about communication with your audience; I’ve been blessed with fans that like to go with me and my musical direction.

  R.Cat.-Does not having any lyrics amplify the importance of album and song titles?

  J.S.-Yeah, I think so. With my records I try to create a mood, a feeling that I can crystallize. It’s especially important for me to focus when I’m writing a piece. I also realize that the music is a form of art and will get reinterpreted by the listener.

  R.Cat.-Another very cool project you participated in was “Gillan’s Inn” a new dual disc out later this month. You not only had the chance to tour with DEEP PURPLE, you where asked to join following the departure of Ritchie Blackmore in 1994 what was that experience like?

  J.S.- It was fantastic. These guys are all incredible musicians, they sound in person just like they sounded on “Machine Head” its quite remarkable, no fancy studio work necessary with PURPLE. Touring with them was amazing, from the set list to the improvising on stage. That being said it was also very mentally challenging for me as I have the utmost respect for Ritchie Blackmore, trying to implement my guitar sound to the classic sound of Blackmore was difficult. Ultimately I had a blast on the tour. I think I might have taken them up on their offer to join but trying to live up to the standard set by Ritchie was too much to bear. I think things worked out the way they were supposed to, Steve Morse stepped in and has done a remarkable job with them, and I’m quite happy with how things have turned out for me.
    NIGHTLIFE would like to thank JOE SATRIANI for his valuable time as well as Melissa Dragich-Cordero from MAD Inc., Public Relations for putting this together for us.
    PURPLE IS INN…..For over forty years IAN GILLAN has brazenly cavorted across the stages of the world putting his heart and soul into Rock and Roll. The cleverly crafty songsmith has written some of music’s most significant songs of our time, and continues to do so. GILLAN is currently in the midst of a world tour in support of DEEP PURPLE’S latest release “Rapture of the Deep”, yet another relevant collection of songs from one of music’s most influential bands.
    While he continues to forge ahead as artist it was time to gather with some old mates and put a new “Twist In The Tale” of his celebrated career. “Gillan’s Inn” will be in stores on April 18th and is an absolutely essential for your record collection. The dual disc is filled with fun and frolic not to mention some of Rock and Roll’s elite; re-recording some of GILLAN’S classic cuts. The fifteen song CD is like the musical version of “This Is Your Life”. GILLAN has never entered the studio or stepped on stage without the finest axe-men by his side; on this record he has reached the pinnacle. The opening track “Unchain Your Brain” from GILLAN’S 1980 “Glory Road” album is a scorching rendition with JOE SATRIANI providing the fire.  SATCH also kicks it into high gear in “Speed King” and “Hang Me Out To Dry”. Track eight finds GILLAN getting “Trashed” once again with former BLACK SABBATH band mate TONY IOMMI. One of the most profound tracks on the disc “When a Blind Man Cries” has GILLAN teaming up with Canadian blues guitar great JEFF HEALY. The dual disc also includes PURPLE pals both past and present with crucial contributions from Jon Lord, Ian Paice, Roger Glover, and current guitarist Steve Morse.
    The album also offers up some hometown flavor as some of the tracks where recorded here in Buffalo with the help of the GOO GOO DOLLS; Johnny Rzeznik and Robbie Takac join in for the Rock standard “Smoke on the Water”, which also sees The Mississauga Singers chiming in on background vocals. Track nine on the disc “No Worries” finds Buffalo’s own Rock and Roll Esquire Michael Lee Jackson stating his case with great conviction.
    The accompanying DVD to the disc is simply spectacular, filled with hours of extra’s including studio footage as GILLAN takes you to the basement of the Inn. It is truly extraordinary to see this Icon at work surrounded by his peers who just watch and admire as GILLAN lays down the vocals. The standout feature of the DVD is the different versions of “Smoke On The Water”, it offers up the viewer’s choice you can hear Joe Satriani, Jeff Healy, or Steve Morse, tough choice but you’re sure to appreciate them all.
    “Gillan’s Inn”( is by no means a tribute album as GILLAN continues to astonish with his vocal range; even after forty-years of throat tearing tours this “Highway Star” shows no signs of slowing down. Like a fine wine he seems to get better with age. Once again the dualdisc is in stores April 18th, like IAN would kick off your shoes and enjoy. You can catch IAN GILLAN on Rockline this Wednesday April 5th, go to www.rocklineradio for times and stations.

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