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Release Date:
March 20, 2012

Reviewed by:
Harvey Cline

Guitarist Chris Standring follows his successful 2010 release Blue Bolerowith a little change of pace, going back to his roots with his “solid body strat” for ten new tracks that won’t disappoint. Says Standring, “I feel like it’s an extension of Blue Bolero, but a bit more playful and upbeat.” The change of guitar definitely gives it a different sound and comes off very well. “I wanted to get a jazz sound out of that instrument, but to be expressive in the way a rock guitarist might, such as with bending the strings.”

He leads off with a great opener called “Pandora’s Box” which incorporates some nice keys from Rodney Lee on a Fender Rhodes. The two of them play it off well with a just enough touch of strings to make it interesting. The keys give it an old school feel and I like where Chris goes with his guitar. “Almost September” is light and lively and is an excellent showcase for Standring’s Fender. I like this one a lot and the addition of Rick Braun only makes it better. “All That Glitters” takes a more laid back approach that shows the real talent of the guitarist’s finger picking skills. There’s a funky beat that leads off “Wishful Thinking” that also features him on voice box and keys as well. Andre Berry rounds out the mix with some good bass licks as this one comes home a winner.

The strings return once more for “Heart of The Matter.” It is a heartfelt ballad that has a lot of meaning for Standring. You can heart and soul in each note.  His song called “Escapade” reminds me in a lot of ways to a couple of songs from Electric Wonderland. There’s a good driving beat along with some excellent keys that plays well off his guitar.  He gets it all going on “Castle In The Sky” where he uses the guitarlele, keys and vocals for a wonderful arrangement. This one is bright and cheerful and a lot of fun to listen to.   He finishes off the project with a great closer called “Nightingale’s Bridge.” Michael Forman’s acoustic piano comes across well as does the soft drum brushes of Dave Karasony. It has that old jazz feel to it.

Fans of Chris Standring’s won’t be disappointed this time out. This is a highly anticipated release following the success of Blue Bolero. He continues to produce well crafted projects that keep him near the top of the charts. Be sure to check out Electric Wonderlandsoon.