Web Hordes: March 2009

Guitar Player Invites all D.I.Y. artists and bands to share their guitar skills with our reader community. This opportunity is open to all MySpace musicians, or to any player/band with a Web site that has their music posted. All you have to do is go tomyspace.com/ michaelmolenda, add me as a friend, and invite me to your music space. I’ll check out your tracks and determine whether you get coverage in this column. (Non-MySpacers can simply send an invite to mmolenda@musicplayer .com.) Tracks are evaluated for creativity, composition, guitar chops, and audioproduction quality—or you may make the cut simply because your track is surprising, interesting, or brilliantly awful. Good luck!
Publish date:
Updated on

This month, all eight artists reviewed in this column will also win fabulous prizes from Ernie Ball—an EB t-shirt, customized EB picks with your name on them, and a box of Slinky strings of your choice. In addition, your two best mp3s will be added to the playlist of EB Radio (ernieball.com). Congratulations to the March 2009 Big Eight!

Len Johnson, Brooklyn, Maryland “Summer of George”
Johnson works for PRS Guitars, and his driving celebration of Mr. George Benson is delightful. He works out over a rockier groove than George typically goes for, but Johnson’s deft picking and soulful phrasing nails the Benson vibe while simultaneously injecting a little more snarkiness into the attack. myspace.com/lennysmusicusa

Michael B. Creech, Asheville, North Carolina “Homebrew”
Creech tackles the rhythm stabs at the song’s intro with a laid-back, muscular attack that lifts the groove into a kind of Hendrix meets Joe Walsh feel. The harmonized melodies sting a bit much—I would have preferred a single-note line—but the licks are funky and nicely hummable. myspace.com/michaelbcreech

Roy Maffezzoli, Trieste, Italy “Girls Wanna Dance”
Although I am Italian, when Italians get their hands on good old American rock and roll weird things can happen. However, Maffezzoli manages to deliver the goods by not overly dissecting the form, and just going for the throat. It’s not a perfect reading by any means, but Maffezzoli’s intensity rules. myspace.com/roymaffezzolia

Frank Jones, Sparks, Nevada “Of an Afternoon”
Jones’ afternoon is a calm one, and he shares the vibe with beautifully spaced melodic lines that float past like leaves on a brook. Santana is an obvious influence, but Jones masterfully commands a spiky attack and a sharp tone that still manages to soothe and caress the listener. myspace.com/rfrankjones

Eric Mauk, Zanesville, Ohio “When Love Dies”
This attempt at power ballad falls a bit flat due to a clichéd title, less-than-fabulous recording quality, stereotypical ’80s instrumental parts, and the fact that Mauk doesn’t play much. All is forgiven at 3:15, however, when Mauk’s feisty attack and vicious bends transform the melody into pure excitement. myspace.com/ericmaukemgproductions

Dave Eatman, Charlotte, North Carolina “Return of the Son of Minky”
Eatman serves up some percolating, old-school bar funk that’s ripe for some DJ to sample to death. It’s dry and full of space, and none of the musicians seem eager to step on the groove. Eatman himself takes some restrained, wah-filtered solos that are marvels of driving economy. myspace.com/daveeatman

Ritchie Lane, Croydon, United Kingdom “Death Row”
Whoa! Lane takes us back to the sweaty, smoky blues clubs of early ’60s London, when “those who were about to be guitar gods” strutted their stuff mostly to each other. Lane attacks the strings as if he’s trying to kill them, and the effect is thrilling and blissfully scary. myspace.com/ritchielane

Rovy Wade, Woodbridge, Virginia “Song 046”
As a sustain, feedback, and weird sound freak, I sometimes forget about melodies, chords, and arrangements, and just geek out at wonderfully bizarre noises. Wade’s track is nothing but a one-idea, one-tone exclamation of gritty clatter, but, to me, it’s also two minutes of pure undulating ecstasy. myspace.com/rovvywade