Showing posts with label Instrumental Rock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Instrumental Rock. Show all posts


Instrumental Rock Review: Joe Satriani-Shapeshifting

Release Date: April 10, 2020
Label: Sony Music/Legacy Recordings

I always wonder what Satch will come up with next when he releases another album. You have to be a very creative guitar player to constantly come up with something new and exciting for your listeners. He manages to do that consistently. With Shapeshifting due out on April 10, 2020 he is sure not to disappoint.

There are thirteen tracks of instrumental ear candy to consume on this latest recording. Joe’s sound is distinct and very familiar to millions of rockers worldwide. I am among the longtime fans that stretch back to the 80s. When I was first turned on to his music, I could not forget it and wanted more. Joe has served us instrumental rock freaks well in his long and successful career.

Some notes from the press release FYI:
Shapeshifting was co-produced by Satriani and Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers) with longtime associate John Cuniberti onboard handling the mastering duties. Satriani enlisted a wide range of collaborators, both old and new, to help him bring the songs to life. Legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (John Fogerty), bassist Chris Chaney (Jane’s Addiction) and keyboardist Eric Caudieux were the core musicians on the new album with additional contributions coming from Lisa Coleman (The Revolution) and Christopher Guest.

So, there is no surprise that so many names in the industry are part of this. Just remember he is the guy that taught Steve Vai a few things, who is no slouch on the six-string either.

The production values of Shapeshifting are superb and what you would expect. Every song has a different style and pace to it, making sure every listener gets the variety they need to stay interested from beginning to end. Joe delivers the goods track to track. The album leads off with the title track and a high energy blast of some guitar magic that sets the right tone right from the start.

One of the more eclectic and interesting tracks is “Ali Farka, Dick Dale, an Alien and Me.” It gives thanks to those artists that Joe has admired and you certainly can hear the Dick Dale reference. Surf instrumental is so recognizable and Dale was one of the first innovators of the genre. I am not familiar with Farka’s work but because of that song I will have to do some investigating. If Joe likes him, chances are his work will be of great value to his listeners. As far as the Alien, I think it was that silver dude he was surfing with back in the early years of his career.

The first single “Nineteen Eighty” has some Eddie Van Halen types of riffs running through and it packs a punch through to the end, it is pure energy and excitement. After that explosion of six-string virtuosity, Joe slows things down a bit with “All My Friends Are Here.” It’s not slow but in terms of the way he plays, it is a few notches down from the previous track. It has some great hooks that are hard to ignore. It sounds like the kind of track you may hear sound bites of accompanying a sporting video, albeit in a sport that has plenty of movement.

All that energy and creativeness Joe has in his soul never subsides during this instrumental treasure trove of masterful six-string displays. This is vintage Satriani doing what he does best, just flat out jamming and bending those strings with a fluidness and command that few players can muster. He is and has been one of the premier rock guitarists for a long time and this recording takes its place alongside one of the great releases such as Surfing With The Alien for consistency of quality. I must reiterate, with the level of difficulty involved in putting out yet another all-instrumental album, this sets the bar extremely high for an artist like Joe. He is up for the challenge and plays like a man that is recording his swan song.

Diversity is the key to success. Tracks like the beautiful “Falling Stars” step away from the hard-charging rockers to show that he can do tasteful slower paced tracks with some funky licks interspersed between the rhythm section action. “Waiting” is even more expressive and a nice ballad that relates to the title with its slow start and pensive build-up that intimates some impatience but in a very nice way. It is one of the shorter jaunts clocking in at 2:37. Now if that wasn’t enough of a change, he kicks into high gear with some reggae chops on “Here The Blue River.” He also mixes in the rockin’ side of his playing to the blend with the reggae back beat which continues as the foundation. The multi-layered tracking is amazing with some great effects, making the track the most varied sounding on the entire album.

And just when you thought you heard just about every style imaginable he closes out with “Yesterday’s Yesterday,” a country-fried journey that rings true with the jangling strings and the old western atmosphere it hints at. In many ways, if you played this for long time fans, they may be hard-pressed to peg Joe as the artist.

In the end, the curtain closes and Joe Satriani wins you over again with the superior quality and all the incredible guitar playing on display on this fine album. His ongoing maturity is evident with each subsequent release and he surely is the ultimate Shapeshifting guitar man.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 8, 2020

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Review Provided By

01. Shapeshifting
02. Big Distortion
03. All For Love
04. Ali Farka, Dick Dale, an Alien and Me
05. Teardrops
06. Perfect Dust
07. Nineteen Eighty
08. All My Friends Are Here
09. Spirits, Ghosts and Outlaws
10. Falling Stars
11. Waiting
12. Here The Blue River
13. Yesterday’s Yesterday


Instrumental Riff-Rock Masters APE SHIFTER To Release Sophomore Album APE SHIFTER II

Since releasing their self-titled debut in March 2017, APE SHIFTER have completed two European club tours encompassing Germany, Switzerland, and The Netherlands. They have shared the bill with Loudness, The Skull, White Cowbell Oklahoma, and Mörglbl, among others. Festival performances have included Zytanien (main stage), Burg Herzberg Festival, OBOA, Free n Easy, Festival Kult!, and others.

On Friday, March 29, 2019, APE SHIFTER release their follow-up album to their debut with their sophomore release APE SHIFTER II.

From rockin' 70's riffs played with punk rock ferocity to creeping metal grooves and all out bashers, APE SHIFTER give new meaning to intense simian instrumental rock from the nasty pits of the Hellabrunn Zoo.

Born on Friday the 13th in Washington, D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland, Jeff Aug is a cool underground guitarist who lives at the foothills of the Alps in Southern Germany for the last 20+ years. He has toured with Allan Holdsworth, Soft Machine, Greg Howe, Stu Hamm, Albert Lee, and has performed shows with Jawbox, Shudder To Think, and Ice-T & Bodycount with his old band. He's worked with John Stabb from Government Issue, has been touring and recording with Anne Clark for the last 15+ years, and has been touring as a solo guitarist for the last 25+ years. Jeff can also be heard on the Atari Teenage Riot album Is This Hyperreal? (Dim Mak Records / Digital Hardcore Records). Jeff is also a Guinness™ world record holder setting the world record for the “most concerts performed in different countries in 24 hours” twice (2009, 2012)!


Jeff Aug : guitar
Florian Walter : bass
Kurty Münch : drums

Side 1


Side 2

09 8 SHOT         
13 MATILDA      

Recorded on 29./30.June and 01.July 2018 by Tim Hecking at Sounzz in Seifen, Germany.
Mixed in Fall 2018 by Alec Empire at The Hellish Vortex Studios in Berlin, Germany.
Mastered by Calyx in Berlin, Germany.
Artwork & layout graphics by Chris Lakriz.
Band photos by Andreas Tittmann.
all compositions by Jeff Aug (except "Gravity" by Aug, Münch, and Walter) and published by Protozoa Music.
Violin on “Matilda” performed by Kilian Kayser.


APE SHIFTER I & II Double Vinyl (Ape Shifter I & II as one double-vinyl set!)


30.03.2019 DE-Immenstadt, Rainbow (w/ Andy Susemihl & Superfriends)
14.04.2019 AT-Salzburg, Rockhouse
15.04.2019 DE-Bamberg, Live Club
16.04.2019 DE-Jena, Rosenkeller
17.04.2019 DE-Fürstenwalde, Club Im Park
18.04.2019 DE-Hamburg, Bambie Galore (w/ Odcult, Electric Hydra)
19.04.2019 DE-Berlin, Supamolly (w/ JUD)
20.04.2019 DE-Hannover, Strangriede Stage
23.04.2019 DE-Stuttgart, Kap Tormentoso
24.04.2019 DE-Frankfurt, The Cave
25.04.2019 DE-Köln, Club Helios (w/ Pinski)
26.04.2019 DE-Oldenburg, Club Cadillac
27.04.2019 DE-Karlsruhe, KOHI (w/ Far Behind The Sun)

Here's what the press has said about APE SHIFTER:

“Hard rockin' guitar instrumentals that deliver a real PUNCH. Good solid stuff that'll make the walls and floors SHAKE.” -

“With no deficit of trios that drive metal wedge into fusion context, guitarist Jeff Aug has a special edge to stand out on: his experience in punk zip and acoustic flip alongside regular rock moves. All of this informs the American expat's new venture whose debut, recorded in only two days to seize the moment's immediacy, is a charming, if complex, endeavor.” -

“In some ways they remind me of Trapeze, at others Taste, with an overblown rich guitar sound, and the rhythm section just trying to hold it together while Jeff goes nuts. Sure, there are progressive influences here and there as well, but mostly this is about good solid Seventies instrumental rock, with the emphasis on ROCK.” - Kev Rowland, 05.05.2017

“The eponymous debut album is filled with powerful electric compositions, riff-based over clear playing and drenched in a very pleasant, dirty sounding well of electric effects. Nasty post rock influenced songs with hunches of fusion, brought in the most beautiful way. Ape Shifter is a very strong instrumental rock album, that shows elements from post to shred added with a QOTSA desert touch.” - Pedro Bekkers (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

“Hard hitting instrumental progressive rock that wears all the influences of the last 40 years of rock hell raising proudly on it's sleeve. Merrily taking you from hell to heaven, this power trio just plain isn't here to screw around. A crew of proven chopmeisters, this is where the real underground begins.  Simply killer stuff.”  – MIDWEST RECORD,

“'Ape Shifter' the album is an 11 track celebration of how prog rock sounds today. Chock full of all instrumental tracks, it brings together those rockin' 70's riffs, but here plays them off against a punk rock ferocity, adds in swirls of arching metal grooves, and presents an eclectic prog rock album quite like none I've encountered in the past decade.” - Exclusive Magazine

“Musically, (Jeff) Aug's style of playing is very reminiscent of Joe Satriani, Gary Hoey, Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, with minor hints of Tony MacAlpine thrown in for good measure. There are 11 cuts of groove and riff powered instrumentals on this self titled debut album, and there is not a single dull moment to be found here. The style of songwriting found here, is heavy at times, packed with plenty of catchy grooves, hooks, and an overall sound, which just gets you into the mood to rock out to Jeff's talented and skillful playing.” - Sarjoo Devani,

“... shares a lot of DNA with fret wizards like Joe Satriani, Tony MacAlpine and Steve Vai. So it's definitely one for the widdlers out there. It's also on the heavy side with some chunky seventies styled riffs in there.” -

“The trio does a fantastic job in terms of displaying stupendous musicianship. There's sincere chemistry and understanding all over the place, but the real charm here are the visceral landscapes the threesome projects, thus making this not just another clinically executed exercise in pretentious overindulgence, but a musical essay enhanced with passion and grit. The album's hallmarks – drums shifting time signatures, face slapping bass lines and crusty guitars are all present and correct. Each of these 11 songs offers an intriguing snapshot of the enormous breadth of talent. But perhaps the biggest achievement of this album is that although it's an instrumental record, there's not a dull moment to be found. 8 out of 10.” -

“Animalistic and aggressive are two ways to describe Ape Shifter a new intense, progressive and loud instrumental species of rock that is set to be uncaged upon the world...”

To pre-order:
Paypal purchase to and CD will be delivered after March 29th.
Also, available here:

Artist Management & Booking by MAXIMUM Booking:

For more information:

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: +1 828-350-8158,

Album copies for promotion and review available upon request. Artist is available for interviews. All press inquiries to Billy James at Glass Onyon PR

Spotify Add-It Link (add the new Ape Shifter album to your Spotify Playlist and it will be automatically added once the album´s released on 29.March):


Rock Review: Joe Satriani-The Complete Studio Recordings

Release Date: April 22, 2014
Label: Legacy

192 tracks comprising 15 CDs is what the new Joe Satriani Complete Studio Recordings box set offers. That is a huge amount of recordings and the fact that the majority of it is instrumental rock is mind boggling to say the least. What is most impressive is that there is always a variety of styles presented on every album he produced. The tracks range from hard rocking cuts to funky runs with different effects and keyboards to heavy blues and jazz fused lines. Satch is a bonafide guitar legend and this box set supports that.

Songs range in length to just over 3 minutes and beyond to over 10 minutes such as the mammoth guitar jam “Searching.” It took me several days to take in all these tracks and it was an absolute joy to do so. I started listening to Satriani’s music when he first broke through in 80s and have been ever since. With so many tracks to choose from it is a challenge to pick out three tracks that defined Joe as an artist and guitar player. “Surfing With The Alien” was definitive Satch and “Always With Me, Always With You” was the melodic and memorable emotional artist. Then we fast forward to the present day with “Shine On American Dreamer,” which really typifies where he is today and how far he has come in his development. This of course merely scratches the surface of an amazing career however these are three tracks that standout for me being a longtime listener.

The 15 CDs give you a great snapshot of a guitar player that was not afraid to continue progressing and even do a few tracks that included vocals. I think the vocals distract from the artistry of this legendary guitar player but in the same instance give the listener a step away from the norm and more appreciation for what he was best at. Every facet of who Joe is comes through on this box set. He shows off his technical skills, how he was able to slow things down and play the acoustic numbers with just as much skill and taste, or fire off some scorching blues licks. His complete mastery of the six-string is on display consistently throughout all of his studio albums. Joe was spot on right out the gate with his first album and then took things to another level which each subsequent release.

I have heard these albums over the years but never straight through from start to finish like this before. It is because of the way I took it all in that I was able to really appreciate what he has accomplished. His musical brilliance, technical prowess and vision hit me with quite an impact. Every album is remastered and Joe was a part of that process. Included is a newly "Added Creations and Bonus Tracks" compilation and an opportunity for fans to buy a special edition USB version of the set exclusively from

To think that Steve Vai was a student of Joe’s puts things into proper perspective. His is a world renowned musician with an incredibly impressive resume that not only includes solo work but a residency with G3 and Chicken Foot to name a few, which also serve as long standing imprints on our collective musical consciousness.

I think the timing was right to release this box set as it encompasses the full development of one of the greatest guitar players in rock today. He is not your one dimensional artist by any means and even though his fans get what they want consistently with every album, there are always new musical roads travelled. The beauty of diversity is all the unexpected twists and turns, which ultimately are so pleasing and what keeps it all fresh. With each listen there is another discovery or revelation right around the corner.

If you love instrumental guitar rock you to need explore or rediscover (if you have been following his work) all of Joe Satriani’s music so reserve a space on your shelf for this set straight away. This box set is a monumental achievement that needs to be revered by all music fans. Don’t pass on this one because you will regret it.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Surfing With The Alien, Always With Me, Always With You, Shine On American Dreamer

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 10, 2014

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings includes:
1986 Not of This Earth
1987 Surfing with the Alien
1989 Flying in a Blue Dream
1992 The Extremist
1993 Time Machine
1995 Joe Satriani
1998 Crystal Planet
2000 Engines of Creation
2002 Strange Beautiful Music
2004 Is There Love in Space?
2006 Super Colossal
2008 Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock
2010 Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards
2013 Unstoppable Momentum
2014 Additional Creations and Bonus Tracks


Joe Satriani and Steve Morse Live In Concert

Joe Satriani and Steve Morse Live In Concert  At The Orpheum In Boston, Mass.  September 27, 2013

It was a beautiful fall night in Boston on Friday night and for this concert goer it was a “bucket list” dream come true. I have been following Joe Satriani since the 80s when he first started releasing his music. Since that time his catalog his grown immensely and he is widely known as one of the greatest instrumental rock artist in the world.

Joe’s band consists of Marco Minnemann (drums), Bryan Beller (bass) and Mike Keneally (keyboards, guitar). All are veterans of the music business and Minnemann has been in the spotlight over the last few years coming close to getting the job replacing Mike Portnoy in Dream Theater and most recently putting out an all instrumental recording with Jordan Rudess and Tony Levin titled LMR. Keneally has been around forever it seems popping up on many different progressive rock releases and his own recordings under different headings. Bryan Beller is known for his work with Dethklok, Mike Keneally, Steve Vai, James LaBrie of Dream Theater and Dweezil Zappa and The Aristocrats. So needless to say Satch has one stellar crew to back him up and the proved it on this night why he handpicked them to hit the road and play all his music.

Our seats were one row in back of the orchestra pit and I was dead center with the stage. There was one problem with this seating arrangement, I had people walking in front of me all night so I felt like I was at a Red Sox game prior to them cutting off all the beer taps. For the most part during Satch’s performance our sight of the stage was unimpeded and the surprisingly subdued crowd remained in their seats.

Before the six-string legend came on stage we had the pleasure of watching another guitar legend in action. Steve Morse and his band entertained us with their own brand of instrumental rock. Morse can choose from a wide range of music he has been involved with over the years including The Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, Kansas, many outstanding solo releases, and most recently with the incredible super group Flying Colors. His former band mate from the Dregs joined him, the phenomenal bass player Dave LaRue who most recently was a member of Flying Colors with Morse as well. I cannot seem to find out any information about his drummer, who was exceptional all through the set. The set was short but powerful and impressive. For a trio they certainly pushed out some sound and it was all spot on. Morse is the consummate professional and so are the people supporting him. He made his way through around seven songs then thanked everyone for supporting live music and left the stage, It seemed like such an abrupt ending to a show for a man that has graced the stages of the world and put out so much great music over the years but I understand when you are the opening act your time is limited.

After about a 15 minute break the star of the evening came on. Satch can play the guitar so effortlessly and flawlessly he never even draws a bead of sweat on his brow. He looks so relaxed and in control. If you ever want to see a great rock show performed live and you enjoy loud instrumental rock then this will be your ticket to paradise.

“Jumpin’ In” kicked things off with an in your face rockin’ welcome and from that point the energy increased with each song. Favorites of the night included “Satch Boogie,”  Marco’s drum solo, “Shine On American Dreamer” and the classic “Surfing with the Alien.” During Marco’s drum solo several people left their seats for one reason or another. I found myself sitting there is disbelief. They have no idea what they were missing. This man is one of the greatest percussionist on the planet and he gave us quit a clinic to witness. It was very disrespectful in my opinion.

Joe plays several different guitars but the orange Ibanez is his favorite and seems to mold right to hands and body perfectly, like it’s an actual extension of him and all of his emotions are played through his music without words. His music is so powerful and picturesque that words are not required. Some of the backdrops to his songs are very creative featuring colorful videos and wild effects. It is not a lot of flash and fireworks, that all comes from Joe’s guitar. I have to also give a nod to Mike Keneally who can hold his own with the six string and there were some nice exchanges between him and Joe during the set.

The most significant moment was when “Surfing With The Alien” was played and everyone knew that was the last song in the set so we all stood up and screamed and hollered for an encore which Satch kindly obliged us with.

If you ever get a chance to catch a show at the Orpheum in Boston, do it. Get there early enough to get a good meal at the Beantown Pub and then walk it off at Quincy Market, which is a 10 minute stroll, and make sure you stop at Newbury Comics to pick up some CDs!


Jumpin' In

Devil's Slide

Flying in a Blue Dream

Unstoppable Momentum

The Weight of the World

Ice 9

The Crush of Love

I'll Put a Stone on Your Cairn

A Door into Summer

Lies and Truths

Satch Boogie

Shine On American Dreamer

Three Sheets to the Wind


Drum Solo

Time Machine

Always with Me, Always with You

Surfing with the Alien


Crowd Chant

Summer Song 

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-Founder Write A Music Review/Prog Rock Music Talk


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Artist: Arjun
Title: Space
Genre: Instrumental Rock Fusion
Label: Pheromone Records
Product Link
Source Link

Since rock and roll’s early days, there have been instrumental artists. In 2003, an instrumental rock band was formed in New York. This band, known as Arjun, takes inspiration from rock and improvisational jazz, and fuses them together to create music that is a work of art...READ MORE...


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Alex Rosselli Releases Indie Instrumental Rock Fusion CD 2012


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