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Alan Williamson - Across Angry Skies

Alan Williamson - Across Angry SkiesIt never ceases to amaze me how we can miss excellent musicians who are almost on our doorstep because of lack of mainstream publicity.  Perhaps this is understandable in a country like the USA which has a pretty big 'doorstep' but in a relatively small country like the UK there should be no excuse.

Alan Williamson, who is based in the north-west of England, is one of those excellent musicians who not only is one helluva guitarist but also keyboard player, percussionist, composer, producer, engineer, music teacher/lecturer and I'll bet he makes a decent cup of tea too.

Across Angry Skies is Alan's third release on CD.  Recorded in Alan's 'Another Kind Of World Studios' which incidentally is available for hire at very reasonable rates, the album is purely instrumental with Alan responsible for absolutely everything bar the cover design.

The eight tracks running at just over the 42 minute mark contain no filler whatsoever.  Though guitar led, the album is far from top heavy in this respect, with great arrangements involving keyboards.  Frankly, it is not difficult to imagine, whilst listening to the CD, the music being performed live with a full band.

Alan talks about musicians striving for speed in playing and then using this to excess.  Opening track Sundance, a prog/hard rock grandiose piece, certainly displays Alan's ability, but within the requirements of the track rather than an ego thing. Call it a warm up.

Entity actually gave me goose pimples such is its start (ethereal voices and flute towards the end of the track are a killer!) and is one of my favourite pieces on the album.

I struggle to compare Alan's style with anyone else.  His music, at least that on Across Angry Skies, coves a variety of styles, Celtic, prog, hard rock/metal, classical, middle eastern and so on.  To start reeling off names like DiMeola, Satriani, Martin Barre, John Williams, Davy Spillane, Hackett (John and Steve) will not mean a lot apart from the implications of inherent quality (and I am referring to compositional styles as much as playing style) unless, of course, you listen to the album and you will see what I mean.

Across Angry Skies is available from Alan's website (link below) for a nominal sum.  Or of course you can choose to join the masses and ignore one of our excellent musicians. Now, you don't want to do that, do you?

Jem Jedrzejewski

Alan Williamson



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