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  • Forward In Reverse

    forwardinreversecoverForward In Reverse
    By Ryan McGarvey
    Label: Indie
    Reviewed: April, 2010

    Have you ever discovered a new talent comes along that knocks you flat on your keister, inspiring you to get right back up in hopes that you’ll get knocked right back down again? Guitar prodigy, Ryan McGarvey, is just such a talent. The 23 year old axe slinger from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is one of the best kept secrets in the good ol’ U.S. of A.

    What does he sound like? To say that he literally sounds as though he’s channeling Hendrix, Vaughn, Clapton and Page would not be an exaggeration in the least little bit.

    Yeah, he’s THAT good!

    His 2008 debut album, Forward In Reverse, is chock full of all original, excellently composed tunes that will make many well established artists turn green with creative envy.

    The first cut, Right In All The Wrong Ways, conjures up the illusion of a jam session between Cream, Aerosmith and ZZ Top. The driving blues number will stick in your cranium, creating one of the most enjoyable earworms you’ve ever experienced.

    Joyride is a great tune to drive down the a desolate stretch of Interstate 40, say, between Albuquerque and Amarillo at dusk, with the convertible down and the speakers blasting. You’ll never want to stop.

    The love song, The One That Got Away, will hook you from the git-go with its hypnotic rhythm and early 70’s aura. It is followed by the Stevie Ray Vaugh-esque, Watch Yourself and Texas Special, that will leave you convinced that Mr. Vaugh had, indeed, raised from the dead.

    McGarvey’s unique song craft comes shining through in Someone Like You. This tune, while great in its own right, is unique in that it doesn’t seem to draw heavily from the 70’s influence. However, Second Time Around is a tune dripping heavily of Cream mixed with a little Jeff Beck.

    Cryin’ Over You is blues as it should be played: clear, fluid, and raw with emotion. It doesn’t get any better than this. Followed by Mystic Dream is phenomenal. What else can I say? Well, in addition to being an excellently crafted instrumental, I would very good money that I would need to borrow from you to see this played live as a duet with Robin Trower.

    Another song that begs to be played as a historic duet is Blue Eyed Angel Blues. Again, McGarvey can stand alone with this tune and still be called great. However, if I could ever watch Ryan perform this tune with Gary Moore, I would feel that I watched double greatness in action.

    Oh! I can’t believe that I haven’t already told you this: All this great music and musicianship and it’s just Ryan, August Johnson providing excellent licks on the skins and Sam Miller serving up bass playing that is right up there with the best of them.

    If you happen to be fortunate enough to live in the Albuquerqu/Sante Fe area of New Mexico, you’ll be among the blessed few to catch this incredible band of talent live. If you don’t live in that area, then, like me, you’ll just have to settle for listening (repeatedly) to Forward In Reverse and look up the hand full of video clips here on YouTube.

    You can also keep up with Ryan and the band www.myspace.com/ryanmcgarvey .

    Keep a watchful eye on this guy. He’s going places.

     

     

     

  • The Road Chosen

         

    The Road Chosen
    Ryan McGarvey
    Label: Ryan McGarvey
    Release Date: November 04, 2014
    Review Date: December 07, 2014

    I’ve been following Ryan McGarvey ever since his debut album, “Forward In Reverse.”  I’ve been blown away by his abilities ever since Sass Jordan turned me on to him while I was interviewing her.  Brilliant written, performed and produced, I’ve got to say that his latest work, “The Road Chosen,” is, by far, Ryan’s best work to date.

    McGarvey reels the listener in with the smooth love song, “Always and Forever.” The lyrics are well crafted; the melody and guitar solo brilliant. I absolutely love this song and can’t wait to watch Ryan perform this song live. I suspect that this one is a crowd pleaser.

    The Cream-esque, “Fading Away,” is a great rocker that, while new, seems to conjure up memories from thirty-something years ago for old guys like me. I love this tune!

    Following is the haunting, “Burnin’ Alive.” Wow! That’s all I can say is, “Wow!” You’ve GOT to listen to this tune. You’ll wind up putting it on continual repeat.

    The instrumental, “Firework Eyes,” will light up your ears, sparkling them with amazing guitar work that is Ryan’s signature sound. If you wanted pick one song to see if you like this guy’s work, this would be the one.

    “Goodbye Blues” sounds as if it was written at the crossroads with hounds of hell hot on McGarvey’s heels. Simply amazing.

    For some silly reason, when I saw the title of the next song, “Little Red Riding Hood,” I was expecting something along the lines of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb.” Heh Heh . . . hardly. This tune stomps and a hard, trudging feel that gets under your skin. Of course, Ryan’s solo work is nothing short of mind-blowing.

    “Mean Thing” rocks and rolls in a way that makes driving while listening to it a bit problematic . . . if one wants to avoid a speeding ticket. Again, I’d wager this tune is quite the crowd pleaser.

    “Memphis” has got a grungy, dirty, ZZ Top vibe to it. I half expected to hear Billy Gibbons chime in with a “How! How! How!” but it didn’t happen. McGarvey’s solo on this song reflects a talent that few his senior can match.

    By far THE Boomerocity favorite on this album is, “My Heart To You.” The lyrics are from the heart. The guitar work sounds as if it’s being played from there, too. It doesn’t get any better than this song.

    “To An End” starts out with a great CSNY vibe to it before breaking lose to a Tom Petty rockin’ groove with a little pinch of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” thrown in for a little more flavor.

    The funky rocker, “I Wish I Was Your Man,” is a great way to end this phenomenal new album by Ryan McGarvey. I’ll be a dollar to a donut that every feet will be dancing and every butt swaying when he plays this song live. I’ve got to hear this one live and loud . . . soon!

    In short, you absolutely must by “The Road Chosen.” It’s one of the best new CDs of 2014. Seriously.