Dudley Taft – Guitar Kingdom
11 songs time – 49:40
Ok, welcome to air guitar heaven. Kids, get your cigarette lighters blazing for a master of arena rock-meets-blues-rock-meets-heavy metal as delivered by Cincinatti’s own guitar God Dudley Taft. I previously reviewed his “Simple Life” CD and he is still at it with the same energy and skill. His axe rages, save for a few moments of more mellow fare. His sound mainly harkens back to heavier bands from the 70s such as Montrose, Black Oak Arkansas, etc. He is backed by the usual bass, drums and keyboard. His guitar antics fly all over the place, but under control. He composed ten of the eleven songs.
For the most part his sound can best be classified as “Crunch Time”, as portrayed on the ode to kick-ass rockers, “Old School Rocking”. “Guitar Kingdom” carries the same sentiment. “Guitar’s a way of life, it’s where my spirit guides and it makes me feel alive”. His skill on guitar more than backs up his credo of the guitar. “Favorite Things” extends his list to cars and his girl.
The noisy “Get Stoned” is self-explanatory. The heavy riffing “I Want More (Wild Young Days)” has him longing for his past against screaming guitar notes. The last original song, “The Great Beyond” is an all-out guitar assault on the senses. He does a slow take on Tinsley Ellis’s “A Quitter Never Wins”.
Now for the softer side. “Still Burning” is, um…A slow burner. Andy Smith lays down an organ cushion under Dudley’s melodic guitaring and yearning vocals. “Darkest Night” is slow with melodic acoustic guitar for a change of pace.
Guitar freaks and plain old music fans will get their fill of this self-produced, energy blast tempered by a few softer moments. Dudley’s mannered, gruff vocals fit perfectly throughout this project. He has enlisted a sturdy cast of musicians for the foundation to his axe excursions. Clearly his lyrics weren’t an afterthought. Not overly deep, but thoughtful. He breathes new life into guitar-rock.
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