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Release Date:
March 5, 2013

Reviewed by:
Harvey Cline

Guitarist Drew Davidsen follows up his highly successful album, Spin Cycle with twelve new selections called True Drew.  The tunes here are upbeat and lively like the previous. He continues to produce new hooks to draw the listener in along with instrumentation that will capture most smooth jazz fans. He shines on the 24 fret solid body Carvin through out.

The opening number plays homage to his instrument, as the Metheny inspired “My Guitar” allows Davidsen to add in a few vocals that are reminiscent of Steve Oliver. This is a great one to open with that begins simply followed by a wonderful chorus that sets the hook early. It continues to build in momentum as well as instrumentation to the very end. “95 South” is takes it’s inspiration from Wes Montgomery along with the road that joins the northern part of the U.S. to the south. The light and lively licks make this one a good travel song. Drew is pretty busy on this one, and shows off his skill quiet well. The back beat keeps this moving along well and is a good accompaniment to the guitar volley. “Hi5” keeps it moving as Pat Coil shines through most of this one on piano. The guitar feels a little bluesier here and is a good lead in for “Double or Nothing.” Co written by Preston Glass, the use of twin guitar harmonies here plays off well and will be a great one to hear live. Alan Blackman adds some good work on the keys that leads into some really good wah wah on Davidsen’s guitar.

One of my favorites has to be the Benson inspired “All Night and Forever.” Drew “walks” his guitar through the passages here telling a good story while showing off some good work as well. Alvin Fisher’s flute plays as a nice accompaniment to the guitar. “Sweet Spot” is just that. Pulsating riffs, some pounding bass along with the sax of Eric Marienthal makes this one to sit up and take notice right away. Co-written once again with Glass, this one has more of a party feel and features some really hot guitar work that plays well with Eric’s tenor. “I’m Into You” takes a little more laid back approach while Drew calls it more of an Earl Klugh approach towards the song. Add in the vocals of Ron Tyson, and you have another catchy melody. He kicks it up once again on “Do Right.” This one is a real toe-tapper from the beginning that includes some really great scat work from Davidsen as well as some thumping bass from Gary Lunn. You’ll like this one for sure.

Keyboardist Bobby Lyle tickles the ivories on the Stevie Wonder written, “I Can’t Help It.” The two of them play along wonderfully and is a good showcase for Lyle’s piano. The pace is much more deliberate than the earlier cut, but it still delivers with a lot of style. Lyle comes back to both arrange and play on the Eric Clapton classic “Change The World.” It starts off really in an acoustic sense while building in momentum. Gerald Veasley adds some good background on bass while Lyle keeps it moving on keys. Lyle writes and plays on the final track called “Give Me Your Heart.”  It is a good one to finish on and really shows the talents of Davidsen. Lyle is heard extensively on piano, in one that has more of a club feel to it.

Drew Davidsen’s star continues to rise, and it is very apparent this time out with these twelve tracks that truly deliver. I believe you will enjoy what he has to offer, and will like the other musicians he has brought in for the project. There is a lot of great guitar and of course, True Drew.