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As a musician who wants to convey powerful statements, tapping into my emotions was key. Musically and spiritually, it surprised me greatly, and I think my fans will feel the same way. But there was also, last December, the unexpected death of his mother, Katherine.
Co-produced by Satriani and Mike Fraser, the album sees the guitarist working with his longtime drummer and percussionist Jeff Campitelli along with a couple of new faces: I found that I dropped my inhibitions and let my heart do the playing.
On the following pages, MusicRadar presents our initial impressions of each song, along with an exclusive walkthrough of the selections by Joe Satriani.
A dynamite opener that blasts out of the gate at a breakneck wizzards. A surging, ominous yet majestic epic in which the imposing weight of the guitar frequencies could move air. The breakdown section is tough as a rusty piece of chain, followed by overwhelming waves of shred. It was about that feeling you get when you feel that something is not right. I love how Premonition sets the tone for the album – wormole don’t know what’s coming next.
An intoxicating, mid-tempo funk rocker, driven by a gentle wah-wah guitar rhythm and a bubbling keyboard melody.
The song, true to its title, transports the listener to a sensual state of bliss.
Satch’s guitar tone is by turns thick and rich, screaming and crying. It came to me in my sleep!
Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards
I had to run into my studio quickly before I forgot it. All you need is that one little thing to change from the original idea and the whole vibe is lost.
As I recorded, I thought of images, photographs and people in my life. In that way, it was a dream song but it was very real, as well. Satch’s guitar is sassy and squawky eizards this gruff funk number, which features two dormhole sections that are downright symphonic. Amid the grandeur, he lays down blac pulverizing guitar solo. Sometimes the best art needs you to shed some blood, you know?
While cutting the song, the guys in the band helped me to not let up. The solo is an absolute corker! The main guitar line was a hard one for me to figure out. It sounds kind of simple and blakc, but it perplexed me. Who says a few simple chords can’t send shivers down the spine? This brief interlude, a delicately plucked solo acoustic offering, does just that. The echo of the room captures the mood exquisitely.
It was all about being alone with your soul, so the message was pretty heavy. I had to get to that place to get the courage to see it as a stand-alone song. Think Joe Satriani is all about razzle-dazzle guitar histrionics? Prepare to see another side of Satch, as Littleworth Lane is pure, unadulterated blues.
Over a pulsating Hammond B3, he plays a restrained yet shimmering melody. Sensitive phrasing and flawless note choices make this a stirring experience. When Swqns was a young musician, she exposed me to a lot of that. So I wanted to pay tribute to her by writing the kind of song that she would really like, one that summed up her spirit. But wixards funny thing is, if you walked into my house, this is exactly the type of music that I play – and I have my mom to thank for it.
Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards | Joe Satriani France
A playful, light gallop of Indian percussion allows Satriani to sdans webs of overworldly guitar goodness. His tone is stinging, scorching Overall, it’s like being whisked away to a distant land. You can almost picture the belly dancers! I created a loop of six or seven Indian percussion instruments.
Originally, I used the loop to practice to, but one day a real melody started to emerge. Funnily enough, it became almost Spanish sounding and not so Indian – again, something quite different. How many musical personalities can Joe Satriani inhabit while still sounding like himself? Here you’d swear he traded wizaeds with George Benson on this altogether bright and breezy jazz-blues rocker.
The rhythm section of Allen Whitman and Jeff Campitelli gets cookin’ during the middle break where Satch pulls out some of his snakiest licks yet. My mom turned me on to Eddie Harris, a brilliant saxophone player.
He had a lot of songs that cross genres, and he was really great with odd times. There’s the bluesy section and the minor key solo section, which is the other side to the story. You get a lot in a song like this. Bassist Allen Whitman shines on this massively grooving funker – he doesn’t ‘go off’; he just drives the tune with relaxed authority. Jeff Campitelli is right there in the pocket with him – these two work well together. Satriani alternates between crunching rhythm guitars and spacey, snarling lines that hit you in all the right places.
Review: Joe Satriani – Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards – Blinded by Sound
Oh, hey – Mike Wisards gets a sparkling solo, too. Jams this loose are rarely so tight. When you get a group of guys like this together, making music is such a joy. For rock bands, it would be great – what an easy way to get from gig to gig! This might be one of Satriani’s trippiest mood pieces yet. Over a rhythm that builds in intensity, he plays a heavily effected series swana guitar lines and solos that sound like they’re, uh, ‘Not Of This Earth.
Mike Keneally’s fingers dance effortlessly on the piano at the end. I started it 20 years ago. I remember as a kid looking through my bedroom window in Long Island and seeing the wind whip through the wizrds. Everybody uses it on their vocals, but I decided to try it with a guitar and interact with it like I would a wah-wah pedal.
I turned it up to its ugliest setting – total Auto-Tune domination – and it created an outrageous sound that actually was pretty cool. And like all great showman, Satch goes out with a bang. Satriani’s skills as a shredmeister are, by now, the stuff of legend, but on God Is Crying he blacck new levels of fluidity, dexterity and, above all, unfettered passion. Grand and glorious, this is one for the books. I was fooling around with prototypes of my Vox Big Bad Wah pedal, and the music just started happening.
But as I started playing, I started to think about the concept of God. Why do we need Him? Overall on the record, I tried to get more by playing wormhoke. Get MusicRadar straight to your inbox: Sign up for the free weekly newsletter.
Satriani rocks Bangalore, Karnataka, India in Looking flashy at the Chronicle Pavilion in Concord, California, Joe Satriani – Light Years Away. At the 43rd Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, A view of the water from Sea Cliff, New York. The spirit of saxophonist Eddie Harris lives in this bopping, jazz meets blues number.