Confession: There’s a special place in my rock’n’roll heart for rock instrumentals. Why? Maybe because I find it mesmerizing to listen to musicians when they’re speaking only through their instruments, without using words and vocals to “explain what it’s all about”. There’s a real musical poetry in that when it’s done right.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of instrumental rock around, but one man who knows how to craft tunes that allow his guitar to roam with absolute freedom and explore new soundscapes, is Australian guitarist Graham Greene.
Over the years Greene has released several EPs of instrumental rock, including three that are in heavy rotation at my place: “Leap Of Face”, “Gaia Rising”, and “Blue Feathers” – all captivating works of musical craftsmanship, with the music flowing easily and skilfully from more ambient, wistful sounds to flights of impressive rock’n’roll wizardry. He’s not called “the guitar shaman from Oz” for nothing!
Greene’s latest EP: “Lord of Misrule” is another example of his musical mastery, and it’s another definite keeper.
First track “The Elegant Savage” shows off Greene’s hard-rocking skills, burning up the strings with dazzling riffs and licks. “Spirit Fingers” slows things down with some piano and a dreamier feel, soaring high on the intricate guitar-work that makes this track a total joy to listen to.
Up next is the loose and jazzy “Bobbo’s Café”, spiked with some more of Greene’s high-flying rock’n’roll energy. There’s an inspired lightness and soulfulness to this track that really appeals to me: it’s almost as if it’s a tune with a sense of humour.
Title track “Lord of Misrule” is a real virtuoso-piece, showcasing Greene’s exceptional ability to make the guitar express so much soul and emotion that the instrument really does seem to acquire a voice of its own.
If you’re lucky enough to get your mitts on the limited edition of “Lord of Misrule”, you’re in for a real treat. It includes two bonus tracks: the beautifully bluesy “Chicken Soup For The Soul” (also available as a single); and the sizzling hot, funky and hard-rocking showpiece “Down Devil’s Road”.
Greene first made his mark in the world of rock in the 1980s and early 1990s, most famously perhaps as a member of Australian hard rock band Ice Tiger, before eventually going solo. In addition to his solo career, he has also paired up with his wife, accomplished vocalist Donna Greene, most recently as Resonance Project. His guitar skills can be enjoyed on the Jac Dalton album “Icarus”, as well as Jac Dalton’s upcoming release “Can’t Unrock Me” . And he’s currently playing gigs with Australian AC/DC tribute band Hells Bells. No rest for the weary, or for guitar shamans it would seem!
If you want to listen to a man who really knows how to make the guitar sing, “Lord of Misrule” is a great intro to this exceptional, and truly original artist.
- The Elegant Savage
- Spirit Fingers
- Bobbo’s Café
- Lord of Misrule
- Down Devil’s Road
Bonus tracks on the Limited Edition CD:
- Chicken Soup For The Soul
- Down Devil’s Road
Lord of Misrule, as well as Greene’s other albums, can be found at CD Baby.
Photo by Crosbie Photography.