Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ed Matzenik - My New Guitar (And A Few Old Ones)dotdotdot
artworkEd Matzenik's guitarisrty is so smooth that's it's easy to just assume, but that would be a mistake. He's been playing for an eternity, including a stint with The Atlantics. In the last few years, Ed has been recording on his own while resting between band gigs. Now, there's no surf here at all, but if you like really good guitar work, appreciate gentle, honest, and easy music, and dig original arrangements, then I recommend you catch Ed Matzenik!
Picks: Come Fly With Me, (Dance With The) Guitar Man, Atlantis, The Stripper, Swing To Bop, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, Twist And Shout, Rock This Town, Stray Cat Strut, April In Portugal, Trambone, Fatso, Just Like Eddie

Track by Track Review

Come Fly With Me dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Jimmy Van Heusen's melody is the vehicle for this really easy flowing instro. Lovely fiddle makes "Come Fly With Me" particularly cool. Piano rolls with the brushed drums and classic bass line. Ed's guitar does most of the lead duty, except when the violin is in the fore.

(Dance With The) Guitar Man dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Classic 1962 twang written by Lee Hazelwood and Duane Eddy is very well laid out in gentler form. Two guitars, one deeper twang than the other, play against fifties piano tinkling with exactly the drums and bass you'd expect. "(Dance With The) Guitar Man" is very nicely done.

Atlantis dotdotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's superb melody is done surprisingly. What begins as an easy flowing muted echo delivery a la The Shadows quickly lets you know it's not the usual cover when the lap steel oozes in, and when the violin takes the lead, well, all bets are off. This just may be the most original version,a and is certainly one of the most interesting and satisfying to listen to!

The Stripper dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Ed Matzenik's guitar gently pours out like water as the lads embrace David Rose's song. This is simple enjoyable.

Swing To Bop dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Cozy Cole's "Topsy" is the subject of this completely reinvented track. This is sweet. The gentility of the performance gives it a whole different meaning. Writers Edgar Battle and Eddie Durham might have actually written the song this way, at least before thinking about arrangements. Thoroughly enjoyable.

(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Ed Matzenik flirts with a grodier sound via fuzz second guitar carrying the signature riff while the lead is bluesy and more in keeping with the rest of this set. A few verses in, harmonica takes the lead for a delightful change of pace on this song.

Twist And Shout dotdotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

The Beatles cover of The Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout" is the inspiration here. It's much less trashy than the Liverpool exiles, and certainly miles from the brothers, but there are some grand tortured whammy chords and fine textural excursions. This son was written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell.

Rock This Town dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

An infectious beat, harmonica and guitar front lines, and a walking bass deliver a very different version of The Stray Cats' "Rock This Town." Big echo twang and pure fun.

Stray Cat Strut dotdotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Brian Setzer's "Stray Cat Strut" is slithery fun, and the violin simply rules. Its French feel adds immeasurably to the reinvention of The Stray Cats' song. Quite nice.

April In Portugal dotdotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Ed Matzenik plays solo guitar with lovely tone and such an easy flow. It's hard to imagine that "April In Portugal" dates from 1917 because it's so fresh. Simply lovely!

Trambone dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Chet Atkins' "Trambone" has been done in a number of styles, including some pretty raucous rock'n'roll instros. Ed Matzenik really nods gently to Chet's original, but not in Chet's smooth jazz way.

Fatso dotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Ed Matzenik's "Fatso" is a smooth number with an easy flow and cute riff. While it's relatively gentle, it's nonetheless catchy, and the blues harmonica leads are soothing.

Just Like Eddie dotdotdotdot
Easy Rock (Instrumental)

Geoff Goddard's tribute to Eddie Cochran has a fine melody that's really well suited to Ed Matzenik's style. Some gently stinging whammy and an easy gate give the song a silky sound in comparison to Joe Meek's original super squished version he cut with The Tornados.