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Paul Gilbert - Stone Pushing Uphill Man Award winner

Paul Gilbert
Stone Pushing Uphill Man
by Luke Bravin at 27 August 2014, 6:57 PM

Paul Gilbert; already you know this is going to be an impressive album given this highly influential virtuoso is the man behind the music; the man who taught phenomenal guitarists like Buckethead, and Satchel of STEEL PANTHER along with forming the band, MR. BIG with legendary bass player, Billy Sheehan.

Now, gone have the days of Paul’s guitar being covered in tassels, but that doesn’t stop him from showing off his Glammy side, as seen from the first track from his new album, “Stone Pushing Uphill Man”. A half covers album and half original album filled with instrumentals and funnily enough, for an instrumental Rock musician, has one track with singing. Well, I say half originals, there are actually only 3 original songs on this album, the rest being covers, but I’m not complaining.

The first track is “Working for the Weekend”, originally by LOVERBOY and Paul manages, with great ease, to throw in some tricks and licks here and there to make it his own, not like that’d be hard for him. The second track is originally by AEROSMITH and made into an excellent instrumental cover by Paul and it is of course the song known as “Back in the Saddle”. Next is “I Got the Feelin” originally by JAMES BROWN. Paul’s take on this song creates a fusion of Funk and Modern Rock with the added vocal melody being played on guitar and I have to say it works very well.

Paul continues to impress with some great instrumental covers of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” originally by ELTON JOHN, “We Don’t We Do It on the Road” originally by THE BEATLES, “Murder By Numbers” originally by THE POLICE, “My Girl” originally by THE TEMPTATIONS but covered by many others, so I’m unsure if Paul’s version is a cover of the original or a cover of a cover. Finally, the last cover is “Wash Me Clean” originally by K.D. LANG.

“Shock Absorber” is the first original song on the album and almost became a second track on the album to feature singing as Paul was going to sing on this track but preferred the guitar parts he had written for it. Even though I haven’t heard this song with the vocals instead of guitar, I can’t really imagine it with vocals and I feel it does work so much better as an instrumental.

The second original is “Purple Without All the Red” and it’s an interesting track to say the least. It’s very Bluesy and I feel a lot of emotion has gone into this, mostly because of its low tempo and lack of shred.

The last original track and last track on the album is the title track and the only track to not be an instrumental on this album. The way the song has been put together kind of reminds me of the cover TINA TURNER did of “Proud Mary”; just like she said in her cover, start it off nice and easy, then do the finish rough!

“Stone Pushing Uphill Man” is a great Bluesy, Folky, Rock song and the album is just amazing and different. I’d say this album is a must for any fans of Instrumental Rock music.

4 Star Rating

1. Working For The Weekend
2. Back In The Saddle
3. I Got The Feelin’
4. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
5. Why Don't We Do It In The Road
6. Shock Absorber
7. Purple Without All The Red
8. Murder By Numbers
9. My Girl
10. Wash Me Clean
11. Stone Pushing Uphill Man
Paul Gilbert – Guitar, Bass, Vocals and Bongos
Mike Portnoy – Drums (Tracks 1 and 5)
Kenny Aronoff – Drums (Tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 11)
Kris Persson – Percussion (Track 10)
Chase Bryant – Acoustic Bass (Track 10)
Jeannie Deva – Vocal Harmonies (Track 11)
Record Label: Shrapnel Records


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Edited 26 November 2022

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