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California Guitar Trio - Whitewater CD (album) cover


California Guitar Trio

Crossover Prog

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erik neuteboom
3 stars Once these three guitarplayers (from Japan, USA and Belgium) joined the "League of crafty guitarists", a kind of guitar-academy from Robert Fripp. They played together for more than 13 years and made seven albums. Gladfully their sound is not so 'Fripp- brainwashed' as the other LOCG member Trey Gunn! At some moments you can trace Fripperian influences (repetetive guitar runs) but in general the California Guitar Trio sounds very unique, innovative and far from the exciting but rather self-indulgent acoustic guitar music like the trio Paco de Lucia, Al DiMeola and John McLaughlin. The info sheet mentions the band as a kind of 'guitar army of 18 strings' but that sounds a bit too heavy, this trio delivers very beautiful, melodic and varied acoustic guitar music. The interplay between the three guitars is great: twanging, rhythm, solo and the use of pedal effects, at some moments it sounds like an electric guitar, especially in Led Foot (a tribute to Jeff Beck?) featuring a distorted and fiery sound. The variety in styles is stunning: between flamenco and gypsy jazz in "Cantharis", funky in "Red iguana" (with hints from Red-King Crimson era and Jan Akkerman), folky like Dutch band Flairck in "The marsh" and "Skyline", Sixties-rock in "Ghost riders on the storm" (a captivating blend of The Shadows sound and an acoustic rendition of "Riders on the storm" by The Doors) and Caribean in "Cosmo calypso" (hypnotizing with percussive sounds and electronic effects). This music is far from the usual progrock but it deserves attention from those who like the acoustic guitar pieces from Steve Howe and Steve Hackett and the folky side of progrock bands. EXCITING!!
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Posted Monday, August 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Very comfortable and pleasant acoustic guitars trio's album. They all learned guitar playing from Robert Fripp, so you can easily hear there his playing techniques school. But common sound there is not so radical or experimental, more contemporary music.

Musicians play excellent, compositions are different enough to save you from being bored. Sound is successfully balanced between innovative and comfortable. You can imagine them as modernized and more polished version of DiMeola/McLaughlin/De Lucia great acoustic guitar trio. Without sharpness and expression.

Really good acoustic guitar music (sometimes sounding as electric one). Could be recommended for fans of safe, more comfortable side of Fripp/Trey Gunn sound as well for acoustic guitar music lovers.

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Posted Friday, February 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars Well I get the "Guitar Trio" part of the band name but where did California come from ? Three guitarists who are from different parts of the world including Japan, Belgium and USA (Utah).

This is actually better than I thought it would be. I mean we've got three guys playing these intricate guitar melodies and strumming away but no bass, drums or keyboards. It works though but let's face it it does seem a little one dimensional. Beautiful stuff though for the most part. In the liner notes there's a menue called "Whitewater Menue" and each dish is a song title and a description of what that meal is. Kind of weird considereing it has nothing to do with the music but it's fun I suppose. This album comes 10 years after the debut so they are seasoned pros here and everything is very well done.Tony Levin produced it.

A good album but nothing more in my opinion.

Report this review (#404261)
Posted Sunday, February 20, 2011 | Review Permalink

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