Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Danny Marks - Guitarcheologydotdotdot
artworkDanny Marks' sound is somewhere between the Shadows and American guitar instro, with hints if a surf edge here and there. It's a different sound than Shig & Buzz, but is similarly separated from the root Euro instro sound. Polished, precisely and prettily played. You will find that you warm up to this CD, and to Danny’s fine artistry.
Picks: El Kabong!, Toasted Danish, Long Way Home, Bonita, Wave Breakers, Lights Out, The Early Bird, Bon Bon, Guitarcheology, Spy Guitar, RL-201, Elevators Away, Farewell To San Miguel, Hula Blues

Track by Track Review

El Kabong! dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a cool track. It begins with a stereotypical Middle Eastern riff, which it uses as a break melody as well. The body of the song is smooth, melodic, pleasingly arranged, and exotic. It has a certain mystique that provides an interest level above mere music. Inspiration for this track comes from the infamous character of your childhood...

Toasted Danish dotdotdot
Laughing Children (Instrumental)

This is a cutesy little melody that is quite playful, almost laughing. I don't see pastry in the imagery, but it does hint of green fields and laughing children. Incidentally, Danny named this track in honor of the style of Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingman.

Long Way Home dotdotdot
Atmospheric (Instrumental)

This is an atmospheric piece. It might have fit well in the soundtrack of Swingblade. It has a similar vibratory ambiance and wistful melody structure. It's very pretty, though it does not demand your attention. It would be a fine backdrop to quiet intimate dinner.

Bonita dotdotdot
Mexican Village (Instrumental)

A slightly Spanish feel and a smooth guitar delivers an image of a little Mexican village and a señorita in a white peasant blouse and broad red skirt playfully walking away. Very pretty.

Wave Breakers dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine surf tune. It flows, has a solid beat, and uses cool tones. It's slightly fast pace and happy melody remind me of some of Paul Johnson's compositions. It's all single picked, but it sports plenty of energy, and lots of endearing tonal qualities. This track is named for Danny's band in Barbados.

Lights Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering whammied chords accent this mid tempo song. The piece moves along at a relaxed pace, and creates a gentle summer day surf ambiance. Some of the harmonics are quite nice. I like this track a lot.

The Early Bird dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

This playful, almost MOR number is too close to the Three Suns or Buddy Merrill for my tastes. It's very nice - too nice - almost elevator friendly. The cutesy keys are too much.

Bon Bon dotdotdot
Lounge (Instrumental)

This track falls into the exotica / bachelor pad area, with its smooth faux Hawaiian guitar tones, and the vibes and other percussion. It's only missing the bird calls. Very cool background track. Aqua Velvets fans may find this interesting.

Guitarcheology dotdotdot
Summer (Instrumental)

Hints of "A Shot In The Dark," a melody that strongly suggests "Similau," and a slinky slow delivery add up to a very listenable experience here. The summer day imagery is obvious, and the tones are great.

Spy Guitar dotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

A squeaky sax, middle eastern keyboard lines simulating a snake charmer's melody, and a lead that parallels exactly the slow bass line, and Rap drum beat creates a lumbering and bluesy club feel in this very nice track.

RL-201 dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is a very Shadowsy track, with those Hank Marvin tones, and that MOR Shadows melody structure. Pretty, but unremarkable. The kind folks at Cabbage Tunes told me that RL-201 is the model number of Canada's Avro Arrow circa 1959.

Elevators Away dotdotdot
MOR Jazz (Instrumental)

No, it's not an elevator music track. It is on the edge of exotica, just outside the realm of smooth jazz, adjacent to MOR. Very nice, but not memorable.

Farewell To San Miguel dotdotdot
Siesta (Instrumental)

This is a super smooth, acoustic, gentle, picturesque Mexican village sound painting. It is VERY PRETTY. It should be in a soundtrack somewhere. It gently flows like a summer breeze at siesta time. This track is named for the Mexican town of San Miguel D'Allende, where Danny has relatives.

Hula Blues dotdotdot
Don Ho (Instrumental)

The blues with Don Ho Hawaiian guitar sounds. Too much Polynesian pop for me. It brought back images of Hawaiian Eye and Connie Stevens.