Joe Hodgson – Serena Sonata | Bareback Blues

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Serena Sonata / Bareback Blues is a new, “double A-side” single from Northern Irish guitarist, Joe Hodgson. We’ve covered some of Joe’s work before, so we’re already familiar with the fact that he’s a phenomenal guitar player. In addition to a high technical skill level, on these latest tracks he demonstrates some musical versatility and eclecticism.

Serena Sonata has an exotic, almost Spanish or Americana quality for much of its duration. It starts off light and festive, rich with melodic detail. The song slowly builds in intensity until the guitars become so powerful they become positively supersonic. It reminds me of scenes in those 80′s movies where a band would play, and the guitarist would rock so hard in the finale portion of a song that it simply left the audience speechless, totally in awe of the performance. Joe Hodgson can really “shred” on guitar, but he does so artfully, enhancing the song’s sentimental passions rather than merely jamming out. There are stylistic elements in this track that might evoke comparisons to Santana, but the speed, intensity and magnitude carries this track into its own uncharted territory. This is truly one of the most radical sonatas I’ve ever heard.

Bareback Blues has more of a bluesy, rock’n’roll vibe. The sound is robust and the guitar melody are quite catchy. This is like the solid, organic rock you might hear live at an out-of-the-way bar somewhere, only in this case the skill level is highly advanced. The pacing on this track is more modest, and the riffs have a more full-bodied character. However, Hodgson still reveals his power level from time to time, as the song eventually culminates in the meticulously fantastical guitar finish we’ve grown accustomed to look forward to.

Joe Hodgson has delivered the goods once again. It’s even difficult to think of this release as a “single.” There is so much musical material and so many notes packed into the recording, that even though it consists of just two songs, this “double A-side” single feels as satisfying as listening to an entire rock opera.

For more info:

www.joehodgsonmusic.com
www.facebook.com/joehodgsonmusic
www.instagram.com/joehodgsonmusic
http://www.twitter.com/joehodgsonmusic

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