Brian Tarquin & Heavy Friends | Guitars For Wounded Warriors – CD review

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Producer, guitarist and composer Brian Tarquin called on a bunch of heavy duty guitarists to help out with a project near and dear to his heart, Guitars For Wounded Warriors. With very few exceptions, we get some ripping guitar playing from Taupin, along with Bumblefoot, Reb Beach, Billy Sheehan, Steve Morse and many others.

“Taliban Terror” features Tarquin on harmonized lead, while “Black Hawk” sees that double-overhanded popping of Sheehan. “Charlie Surfs,” one of my favorites, has former Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland adding to the big nasty and plodding riff. I appreciate the thought-out compositions, the ones that seem more realized and not just a reason to riff. “Surgical Strike” with the Flyin Ryan Brothers has a nice chunky vibe to it and sounds like a full-on instrumental. “Sand and Blood” finally gives us slow downed expressive playing from Tarquin with Hal Lindes on the fusion number.

“Escape Kabul,” despite its name, is a big staccato piece with an airy and open middle section of the guitars playing off some clean snare. I had high hopes for Steve Morse’s contribution on what I thought was going to be an angelic “Freedom,” with all that wailing, despite the soaring strings and piano. It’s good to hear guitar players at the top of their game, as we certainly do with Tarquin giving his friends the freedom to roll around their frets on Guitars For Wounded Warriors.

~ Ralph Greco, Jr.


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