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Steve Morse Band - Steve Morse: High Tension Wires CD (album) cover


Steve Morse Band

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Very delightful and emotional compositions. This album shows the sensitive side of Steve Morse. A deception for die-hard fans of his earlier works with Dixie Dregs, but a must for fans of beautiful music ŕ la Marillion circa Misplaced childhood. Discover it as soon as you can if you didn't have listened to it yet!!!
Report this review (#11161)
Posted Sunday, November 2, 2003 | Review Permalink
5 stars Shurely the best of his MCA-albums if not (as an entire album) his best "solo"-album so far.

It showes the variety of his celtic influences (highland wedding) his beutiful solo guitar and of course for all the hard-core dregs fans the melodic looking back (with T Lavitz and Dr. Allen Sloan!)) and also with T the beautiful country colors.

The speed fans will love tumeni notes and the fans of to some extend relaxed instrumental guitar music will enjoy the hole album. The line up is different to what you read above: Rod Morgenstein on drums, Jerry Peek on bass, T Lavitz on keys and rather hard to recognize Allen Sloan on violin.

Report this review (#56311)
Posted Monday, November 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars This is the first Steve Morse album I ever bought. Most of the music is either shred or country. Steve Morse does a good job of demonstrating how eclectic he is as a guitarist, but the compositions themselves are various genres, and not one of them is really what I would call progressive rock. Almost all of the songs are too short to breathe (and the one that is the longest isn't that terrific). Fans of diverse guitar music could do worse than to pick this one up, but there are much better offerings elsewhere.

"Ghostwind" Full of twelve-string and a guitar tone similar to that of the great Mark Knopfler, the opening piece has flavors of country throughout.

"The Road Home" Laden with more twelve-string guitar, Morse picks up the pace a bit, but not much. There is a musical theme to this one, one that is quite good. The first time he plays it, he uses it to introduce a well-played solo, which is what the remainder of the track consists of.

"Country Colors" Much like the first piece, this one has a countrified feel to it, but is a very different piece altogether. The trouble is, there is little progressiveness about this piece. There's even a honky-tonk piano solo during the second half.

"Highland Wedding" A Celtic waltz, this one has several gorgeous moments that sound like they came right out of the land north of England. At times, the electric guitar sounds more like a bagpipe, until the end, when Morse decides to let it rip. What's more, he doubles all his riffs on the acoustic guitar.

"Third Power" The fourth song sounds like the theme song for a TV program like Beverly Hills, 90210, to be quite honest. There are some good guitar moments, but for the most part, this one is not enjoyable.

"Looking Back" Further country music follows. I happen to enjoy country music, so this isn't a problem for me. The guitar arrangements are lovely, and the piano is a nice addition in the background. Like the third song, there is a honky-tonk piano solo close to the end.

"Leprechaun Promenade" With such an intriguing title, one would expect some blend of Celtic and rock music, much like "Highland Wedding." There is some fiddle present, but of course most of the piece is dominated by electric guitar. It's a jaunty one, to be sure, but not the best on the album by far.

"Tumeni Notes" The not-quite-clever title should give this one away. It is a speed-fest, affording Morse an opportunity to show off his mastery over the metronome.

"Endless Waves" While there is electric guitar present, it is clean and relegated to the background. Here, Morse uses layers of acoustic guitars to build his sound, not the least of which is the one he solos on. As on many of the songs, there is a piano interlude midway through.

"Modoc" A solo acoustic guitar piece in an alternative tuning, it reminds me of "T.O. Witcher" from Kansas's live album, "The King Biscuit Flower Hour." It's quite pretty, and good fun to learn and play on guitar.

Report this review (#191830)
Posted Thursday, December 4, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
4 stars High tension music

This is actually one of my favourite all-instrumental guitar-based albums of all time. Fans of The Dixie Dregs and The Steve Morse Band might be surprised by this album. This is not a Steve Morse Band album, but a proper solo album by Steve Morse. But even if this is a solo album, there are drums, keyboards and bass to accompany Steve's guitars. Everything is excellently played but the focus is on the different guitars. But this is not a shred fest by any means, but rather a very melodic and eclectic album with many lovely acoustic and electric passages. There are perhaps some shredding, but just the right amount and in just the right places. The influences range from Folk, Jazz, Rock and Blues and the balance between acoustic and electric and between different tempos and moods is perfect.

This sounds like no other album to which Steve Morse put down his talents, if it was with The Dixie Dregs, The Steve Morse Band, Kansas or Deep Purple. High Tension Wires still very much has Morse' trademark sound though, but it is perhaps a bit more laid back compared to most of his other work. However, the very calm opener Ghostwind should not deceive you into thinking that this is some kind of relaxation music. The tempo and mood changes into more intense tracks later on.

The Celtic-flavoured Highland Wedding is my favourite track. It starts with acoustic guitar and builds towards a powerful big-pipe-like melody. Beautiful!

This album is Steve Morse' best work! Highly recommended!

Report this review (#204112)
Posted Monday, February 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars First, if you are going to give your albuma title like High Tension Wires, shouldn't there be some element of tension in the music? This album is much more laid back than the other Steve Morse albums I've heard, or any of the Dixie Dregs albums. Speaking of the Dregs, all of the members from the classic lineup are here, although the one song with the full Dregs band together, Leprechaun Promenade, I believe was originally released by The Dregs on the Ensoniq promo disk, Off The Record.

Despite the laid back feel, this is still a fine album, with Morse's inimitable style, mixing rock, country, jazz and classical, sometimes all at the same time. The best track is Tumeni Notes, the one truly speedy song (note the title), where Morse gets to show off his bluegrass and rock chops, to spectacular effect.

I can understand why many people like this album. I like it a lot. But I prefer Morse's more energetic albums.

Report this review (#294190)
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars High tension wires is Steve Morse third album under his name and a very fine work aswell. Issued in 1989 this album shows the gentle and melacholic side of Morse with elegant passages and very fine musicianship overall. Helped by all Dixie Dregs members here, but don't expect to be another DD album, no this is quite diffrent, the album is diverse in songwritting and shows how versatile Steve Morse is as a musician. This is mid temo most of the time with mellow passages, but the beautiful pieces like Ghostwind or the version of Leprechaun Promenade easely bits the DD original, in my view. This album is not constructed on riffs and solos like the albums befor this one or after High tension, is very delicate with sense of melodic line of the highest calibre. I don't know if this ishis best solo album, I like Stessfest very much , equaly with this one, and is better then Stand up for sure. A very worthy album where Steve Morse shows that he is on the tip of the iceberg. 3.5 stars.
Report this review (#868359)
Posted Thursday, November 29, 2012 | Review Permalink

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