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Steve Walsh - Shadowman

Steve Walsh - ShadowmanThe Kansas vocalist  is back with another solo album, Shadowman.  And what better way to audition the disc than a road trip where, for a change, I am not in the driving seat, but the one who is pointing the Celica in the right direction would be the first to admit that long drawn-out prog instrumentals "are not her thing".

Fortunately, given the circumstances, Steve's Shadowman veers more towards the wider rock audience whilst retaining a slight tugging of the forelock towards prog in the fringe arrangements.

This 'rockier' approach took me by surprise, but while I was adjusting to that, my companion was attempting to determine similarities both in Steve's music and vocal styles on this album.  Looped into the proggier side of things as I usually am,  the style and tone of Enchant sprung to mind but my companion was probably closer to the mark with a mixture of  Whitesnake, Rainbow, AC/DC (in places) and best of all, Guns 'n Roses.

The heavy rock come metal style of opening track Rise has, what sounds to me like the tapping of a Chapman Stick but there is no mention of it on the sleeve notes, just Steve, (keys, vocals), Joel Kosche (guitars, bass) and Joe Franco (drums, electronic percussion) plus guest musicians Michael Romeo, David Ragsdale (violin) and Matt Still.

If I was pushed to pick out some personal highlights I would select the tracks Rise (for the reasons stated above) and Pages Of Old which in all honesty is the closest to Kansas you will find on this album.  However, and it is a big however, Shadowman is worth getting for the title track alone which is gritty, aggressive full of hooks.  My friend, on the other hand, may disagree with my choices but declared after a couple of spins that she really liked the album.  That is one Christmas present sorted then!

Jem Jedrzejewski

Kansas

Muse-Wrapped Records

 

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