· JOHN FINDLAY - GUITARLANDIA (GYR178) ·

::T R A C K S::

01. ANGEL IN MY EYE
02. NEW MOON
03. MR. INVINCIBLE
04. NO PLACE LIKE IT
05. BOOK OF STONE
06. ORDINARY DAZE
07. NEW BATTLE
08. SUNNYLAND
09. CROWDED ROOM
10. FREEDOM
11. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE
12. GUITAR LAND (PART 1)
13. GUITAR LAND (PART 2)


FORMAT: Audio CD / 4 PANEL WALLET
GYR178 - $13.99

Awesome studio disc by this outstanding guitarist from Toronto, Canada. Includes 13 tracks of world-class, blues-based, dynamic, heavy guitar rock music that lands "old school" and pure to the six string core with strong compositions that also feature excellent soul-powered, melodic vocals. Welcome to the six string world of John Findlay known as "Guitarlandia". A deep, special musical place where guitar rock rules and reigns supreme.

John Findlay is a top-shelf, sophisticated, talented axemaster who shines and speaks the same musical language as the guitar legends on the amazing "Guitarlandia" disc. Highly Recommended to fans of Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Cream era Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson and other amazing axemasters. An essential, timeless "musical document" that defines serious guitar rock music excellence.


MP3 Sample Clips

01. ANGEL IN MY EYE
02. NEW MOON
03. MR. INVINCIBLE
04. NO PLACE LIKE IT
05. BOOK OF STONE
06. ORDINARY DAZE
07. NEW BATTLE
08. SUNNYLAND
09. CROWDED ROOM
10. FREEDOM
11. SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE
12. GUITAR LAND (PART 1)
13. GUITAR LAND (PART 2)

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· reviews ·

From the ethereal opening of the title track “Angel In My Eye” you know you’re in for a deep musical excursion into the realm known as “Guitarlandia”. John Findlay knows the territory well, and gives us a personal tour of its power, majesty and sophistication in his own unique and expressive way.

“Guitarlandia” fires on all cylinders, with sophisticated songwriting chops that are at once relatable yet innovatively original while, at all times, flowing with an almost casual ease that is totally unforced and completely inspired. It sucks you in like a sonic vortex, consuming your musical brain and reconstituting you into a new musical creature. This is feast for the ears, with exotic flavorings that will satisfy even the most jaded and sophisticated musical palettes. Needless to say, repeated listenings reward the listener in a way where the musical gift of “Guitarlandia” just keeps on giving.

A brief yet encompassing assessment: Silky smooth vocals that artfully emphasize melody, harmony and counterpoint. Lyrical content that is deep and thought-provoking without pretension. A pristine, symphonic, “future retro” three-dimensional mix that’s light-years wide (you MUST listen to this CD in headphones for the full immersive effect – you’ll be glad you did). Muscular, stylized and expansive in scope. Compositional breadth and depth infused with richly-hued tonal tapestries cascading through fractal layers of sound where all the parts fit and nothing is missing, from the micro to the macro. Vicious grooves deftly delivered with a mature and nuanced control of emotional expression across every conceivable domain. Style-bending arrangements where the unexpected becomes the norm. Bone-crushingly heavy (without being cliched or “sludgy”) and soft and light as as a feather…sometimes at the same time.

John takes the preexisting guitar vocabulary and succeeds in expanding it exponentially, “Findlayizing” his Stratified sonic delivery with otherworldly voicings, refined technical artistry and an encyclopedic palette of tones that are expertly crafted and perfectly placed. His supporting cast, featuring Matthew Gerrard (bass) and Derek Cushway (drums), are absolutely brilliant (check out Matthew’s solo at 3:35 in “Invincible” – interstellar chops that’d give Gary Willis pause). This trio is tight as a gnat’s ass on a cold day. Each of these supporting players are true artists in their own right, adding their distinct voices and interpretative skills to these proceedings to devastating synergistic effect.

All are original compositions with the exception of Hendrix’s “Freedom” which gets an unexpectedly instro redux treatment to precision pulse-pounding effect. Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love” gets reinvented as a funked-up fusionized phantasmagorical phreakout with a pocket as deep as a bottomless pit. Reconstitutional genre-busting at its very best. Krazy. Kool. Klassic. Killer.

The closer “Guitarland” is an instrumental musical masterwork. Part 1 is one of the most compressed (timing out at only 1:41) yet artfully crafted pieces of Hendrix-inspired beauty ever recorded, while Part 2 ramps up the contextual framework with a majestic progression complemented by an expertly crafted guitar solo that is understated in its presentation yet transcendent in its nuance and touch. Yes…this is what guitar music SHOULD be…and in the capable hands of John Findlay and his bandmates, IT TRULY IS! To use an analogy, if musical innovation could be related to architectural innovation, John Findlay is Frank Lloyd Wright, with Findlay’s “Guitarlandia” being Wright’s masterwork Taliesin.

I want more of THIS. THIS is what’s missing in the musical and cultural landscape of today, where narrow silos of homogenized sameness rule everything we see and hear. The pantheon of guitar innovators has a new Hall Of Fame artist. This is John Findlay. This is epic. This is greatness. This is supremely confident and consummate musical art. This is “Guitarlandia”. Welcome home.

Jimmy Ryan (Truth Squad / Flyin' Ryan Brothers / Ryanetics Music) (December 2018)
 



 


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