Release Date:
March 18, 2008

Reviewed by:
Harvey Cline

The third time out for this Nuance guitarist shows even more of his creative side than his previous two releases. The momentum has not left, and he picks right up where he left off with Groovosphere

 “Space Coastin” is sure to be an instant favorite of the radio crowd as well as those who hear this one in concert. It’s one of those feel good songs that is both well written and fun to hear. The vibrato-like feel to the chorus makes it one to remember. The whole song is driven by bassist Andre Berry as he keeps the punch going down the stretch. The title track relies more on a heavy choked bass riff throughout as Matt’s guitar plays a more defined track leading to a flute tinged chorus. There’s a good flute solo that breaks this one up somewhat before heading back into the heavy bass riffs once more. “Hangin’ At Humphreys” is much more deliberate in its approach. Driven by a nice back beat, this one almost tells a story with its bluesy feel. Another feel good one is “Brotherhood” with its back beat clap in the beginning and chorus. The vibes stay positive and you get the sense that he wants to share this with a lot more people.

He covers Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire” with both vocals and guitar. The beat is pushed up ever slightly and sounds cleaner with snare and brush moving this one along. The guitar over a background of acoustic piano sounds haunting in its delivery. There’s an instrumental version of this same classic later on. “Sanibel” moves nicely and is light hearted in the delivery. Matt mixes in a little bit of sax here for flavor and the two play off well. “Old School” sounds exactly like that with some “Carlton-like” riffs, giving this one a bluesy feel right from the start. Some of Matt’s best guitar work is here on this one as well. Even the keys sound “old school” in the solo part of the song, while being pushed by a constant snare.

There’s more punch in “Chuck’s Groove” as this one moves along nicely with an accentuated chorus. The keyboard addition gives it a definite club feel. Matt’s guitar sounds fat through much of this cut and would be a good one to catch live. The lonely, dark “Sierra Sunset” is one of those thought-provoking songs that allows you to enjoy each note as it slides off his guitar. The blues is backed by a constant organ background that bridges the gap between daylight and dark. The next cut is more modern in its approach than most of the others. “Life Is A Mystery” has an art deco feel to it. The bass line moves it along somewhat but still has an underlying off beat feel to it. "Bratislava Bop" is a song that Matt says is “dedicated to my fans and friends in Slovakia.” It’s a little different from a lot of the songs here with its early intro, but soon you’ll hear the guitar that has been prevalent throughout.  The last song on the disc called “West Coast Stranger” is influenced by “late night drives in California’s desert.” It has a late night kind of feel with no place really to go. Though moody in its delivery, it’s still melodic at the same time. It’s a really nice one to finish on.  

Marshak continues to show new music with lots to offer. He brings us blues along with new offerings from the contemporary jazz front. Most of it is thought provoking and a lot of fun to listen to. I urge you to find a copy of this one soon if you haven’t already.