Here we have an instrumental album from Stevegane Project, featuring French guitarist and composer Stevegane. The album, When Time is a Present, was released by Musea Records, a French distribution company and record label.
In his biography (below), Stevegane lists his influences as Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson, and Ritchie Blackmore. This is a distinguished group of master guitarists and Stevegane wastes no time in creating sounds that remind us of those rock guitar legends.
A friend of mine is also a master guitarist who decided to rent a booth at a local fair in order to solicit potential students for his music school. He had created an album’s worth of canned music to act as a backdrop for his guitar. When it was time, he loaded the CD, plugged in his electric guitar and played along. It was an amazing guitar performance. When I listen to Stevegane’s album, I am instantly transported back to that tent at the fair.
If the composer’s intent was to highlight his passion for guitar and share that love with us, then this album has been a successful venture for him. For guitar lovers of Gilmour, Beck, Lifeson, and Blackmore this album will bring much satisfaction.
For the rest of us- who love a good bass line, prefer drums that don’t sound programmed, and who desire vocals with strong melodies; this album will not be as satisfying. Too much of a good thing, perhaps?
The highlight of the album is the shortest track, Lady of the Lake. This beautiful, yet poignant guitar solo grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the final notes. Sly Return 11 March 2011 begins with an Eastern theme that entices us, and we are hopeful for an expansive composition as the final track on the album. But it isn’t long before we are thrust back into the Western world of guitar playing to a singular kick drum beat. The potential for a unique and inspiring world music composition is abandoned until the last 30 seconds of the album and by then, it’s too late; it’s merely window dressing.
On his News Page, Stevegane writes his intentions for the listener:
To encourage self-reflection, to plunge the listener into their personal and existential thoughts, so that they can share their own unique feelings and experiences which are different from one person to one other according to what each person has lived, lives, wishes to live and will live. Such is the aim of this first section. So, just maybe the listener will say to themselves “in fact, I already knew this music and at last I’ve rediscovered it.”
In fact, I can say that I already knew this music through Gilmour, Beck, Lifeson, and Blackmore. Rediscovery through Stevegane is another matter entirely. It’s pretty stuff, he’s a talented guitarist but as a composer there’s nothing inventive or new here.
Guitarists, this album is for you. Let us know what you think.
BIOGRAPHY (from website)
After considerable experiences collaborating with other musicians and artistes, Stevegane, a French guitarist and composer, felt it was time to realise his own project, and so it was that in 2008 the Stevegane Project was born.
Imbued with a love of British rock, he has asserted his own style of playing and composing, enriched by the influence of such groups as Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush, and Rainbow and great artistes such as Jeff Beck, David Gilmour, Alex Lifeson and in particular Ritchie Blackmore, for who he has great admiration and deep respect.
Stevegane’s experiences have culminated in the creation of a very personal style of music reflecting the richness of all these influences.
1. Through the Stones 18:02
2. When Time is a Present 22:13
3. The Green Eyes 15.45
4. Lady of the Lake 3:04
5. Sly Return 11 march 2011