Intriguing musical alchemical solution of blues, fusion, and adult-oriented rock, varying from tune to tune as to which genre is in the forefront. "Slingshot" and "Under Saturn's Rings" use the wonders of the universe as a metaphor for relationship dilemmas. "No Walkin' Blues" does not negate the Robert Johnson tune, but is a traveling musician's plight of missing his loved ones back home.
I admit that although I’ve seen Carl’s name a lot, I’ve never become familiar with his playing. But after hearing this great CD, that’ll change. He’s a fabulous player whose style falls somewhere between Eric Johnson, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the band Squeeze. Yeah I know, an enormous range there, but he really does touch all those bases.
The songs – all originals – are excellent, the vocals distinctive and the playing…well, check out the melody and pure chops of the title cut. Massive speed played with marvelous agility and a lot of soul. If that one doesn’t do it for you, go for the pop-rock of “Misunderstood.” It sounds a bit like Johnson or Vaughan playing with a pop band like Squeeze and fitting in perfectly. The drum-and-guitar shuffle of “Piece of You” will have you holding your breath and wanting more. And there’s excellent acoustic work, too. “Mercury Rain” offers a mixture of country blues and European chamber music.
I can’t recommend this enough. It’s got something for everybody. Great tunes, great playing, and everything in between. It drives me nuts people think they need to keep looking for “guitar heroes,” instead of great musicians. But if you really need to look for one, this might be the place. Great stuff.
Verheyen has authored instructional books, including Improvising Without Scales, as well as Studio City, a collection of articles written for the magazine Guitar for the Practicing Musician from 1996–1999. In 1996 Carl won the LA Music Awards category of Best Guitarist.
His first solo album was entitled No Borders; his follow up, Garage Sale, features his own vocals. 1998’s Slang Justice, Verheyen's third release, was the first time he toured to support one of his records. His tour bandmates included bassist Cliff Hugo, drummers Chad Wackerman, Steve DiStanislao and Bernie Dresel. Slingshot, released in 1998, included drummer Gregg Bissonette and keyboard legend Jim Cox. Verheyen continued to play as a session player on other artists’ records, for acts such as the Bee Gees and Cher, as well as for movie soundtracks including The Crow and The Usual Suspects. In January 2000, he released the CD Atlas Overload, followed in 2001 by a solo guitar album titled Solo Guitar Improvisations.
Verheyen has produced instructional DVDs and online lessons. He has produced a book and CD combination which profiles his “intervallic” style called Improvising Without Scales; as well as a book entitled Studio City, a compilation of all the columns written by him for Guitar Magazine between 1996 and 1999. He writes a monthly column for Chitarre, an Italian guitar publication.
In 2001, Verheyen released a collaborative work entitled Reel to Real with Karl Ratzer, an Austrian jazz guitarist. Recorded in two days, it consisted of extended “jams” and interactive musical exchanges between the two guitarists and the assembled rhythm section. Shortly afterwards, he released a collection of past songs entitled Six, featuring a cover of Lennon–McCartney’s "Yes It Is". The band toured extensively behind this record, playing in 14 countries over the course of two years.
1 Opening Above
3 No Walkin' Blues
6 Piece Of You
7 Wandering Away
8 Mercury Rain
9 Under Saturn's Rings
10 Moody Rudy
11 Carried West
Guitar – Carl Verheyen
Bass – Cliff Hugo (tracks: 3, 7), Dave Marotta (tracks: 1,2,4,5,6,8,9,10,11)
Drums – Greg Bissonette* (tracks: 6,9), John Ferarro* (tracks: 4,5,10,11), Steve DiStanislao (tracks: 1,2,3,7)
Keyboards [Hammond B-3] – Jim Cox
Keyboards [Wurlitzer] – Mark LeVang
Lead Vocals – Carl Verheyen
Backing Vocals – Craig Copeland, Liz Myers, Mark Hart, Mark LeVang
Piano – Mark LeVang
Voice [Laugh Track] – Geoff Verheyen