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Sum of Memories
  • Artist: Ben Granfelt
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 6420612630466
  • Item #: SRD126304
  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 3/25/2008
  • This product is a special order
  • Rank: 1000000000
CD 
List Price: $19.98
Price: $17.55
You Save: $2.43 (12%)

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Description

Sum of Memories on CD

Outstanding obscure 70's-inspired bluesy heavy guitar power trio featuring the amazing Ben Granfelt (Wishbone Ash) on guitar. 13 tracks (61 minutes) of awesome killer authentic retro-guitar grooves that jam hard and deep. Highly recommended to fans of Hendrix, Trower, Gov't Mule, Pink Floyd & Plankton. If you dig top-shelf, serious bluesy heavy guitar riffage do yourself a favor and tune into this awesome blues-based power trio guitar rocker. *REVIEW* Ewen Cameron once said that 'Memory is the bastion of being; without it, there is no personal identity. It provides the raw material for designs both great and small.' Ben Granfelt takes this quote literally in his latest release, 'The Sum Of Memories.' An immensely talented and well-established solo artist based in Finland, he has most recently toured the planet many times over with classic rock legends Wishbone Ash, playing twin lead foil to Andy Powell in my favorite lineup since the original band broke big back in the early 70s. Ben is a monster is his own right, and undeniably proves it on this release. It's back to the future...these tracks were recorded live in the studio. Ben explains: 'All the music was played live with vocals added later. Some of the solos became jams and therefore longer than first intended. I just didn't want to stop playing when we just hit the groove.' Finally - The Art Of The Jam, brought front and center, within tight, intense and pulse-pounding arrangements - Ben remembers where he came from and knows where he's going, and the influences that made him that way are clearly...and very heavily...displayed. This release is a testimony to the 'memory lens' that he focused his artistic vision through, and his personal stylistic fingerprint is stamped on every aspect of the songs presented here. This release is so strong throughout that a track by track narrative is indicated: The first cut, 'Intro Jam,' sets the tone for the entire trip down Ben's personal musical memory lane, an instrumental dripping with sweat and ripping through a univibed, riffed-up, wahed-out screechfest layed squarely on top of a monster groove provided by bassist Harri Rantanen and drummer Miri Miettinen. Monster players in their own right, the provide the locked-down, technically proficient and extremely grooved-up base from which Ben blueprints his Nitro-Fueled, Feeltone Retrograde Memory Machine. The riff-heavy retro vibe continues unabated on 'Check Up From The Neck' - a chucka-chucka backbeat featuring a leslied, squawkified lead solo shakefest - on this one, Ben proves himself to have one of the best 'shakes' in the business on this one...like, WOW, man... 'Falling Off A Drunken Horse' is a reverent tribute to a Ty Taborized King's X that's directly Out Of The Silent Planet...the descending chordal figure overlayed by three-part vocal harmonies absolutely drips off the speakers in a harmonic cascade that must be heard to be fully appreciated. Hit the replay button...did I just hear what I thought I heard? 'So Much Easier' gives a nod to Wishbone Ash's playbook with a progressive twist, both in lyrical content and structure. The heartfelt vocal delivery is perfectly complemented by the Andy Powell-inspired solo - majestic, melodic, soulful and completely in proportion...well done, Ben. 'Confession Time' casts shades of Glass Harp as Ben shows us how to 'find the groove again.' The heartfelt vocal states the premise loud and clear: 'The sum of memories / It's what I've done / I just need to play.' The Hendrixian Octavia-drenched fadeout shakefest perfectly caps this confessional...the truth sets Ben free...and us along with him. 'We Play The Game' is an awesome Troweresque Bridge of Sighs-era introspective soarout with with a lovely harmony vocal...'I recall another place and time...where we would be like one.' A perfectly structured bass solo by Harri highlights the vibe of this super-cool track. Thanks again for taking us back with you, guys. It's appreciated more than you could possibly realize. The vibe continues with the instrumental 'Bridge of Dreams' - extending the Hendrix-Trower vibe on a solid, melodic and richly harmonic tour of the outer reaches of Electric Ladyland. Transcendently beautiful, understated and tonally rich. Ahhh...On 'Too Many Gods,' the lyric says that they can kill you. Thanks for the heads up, Ben - the Gods are indeed in our head, and the drilled-in solo sounds like like it is just that - in your head. A great tone and delivery amplified by a great mix. 'Riding Free' jumps on the Hendrixian 'Stone Free' train, but incorporates (dare I say) a pop sensibility in the chorus that creates a completely new approach to 'pop sensibility'...let's sing along now...'I can do anything I want / I can go anywhere / this is the way I want to be / I want to be right and free.' That said, this tune features an in-your-face solo that sounds like your head was glued to the speaker cabinet when Ben played it - how the hell did he do that? 'Into You' has a bluesy, Dark Side Floydian vibe that grooves through a beautifully chorused rhythm guitar figure. David Gilmore would shake his head in disbelief at Ben's effortless mastery of his trademark sound...yet, it's all Ben...through his energized, emotive presentation and bubbling pentatonic flurries, he hits the Gilmore influence out of the park. 'Beautiful' is just that - reminiscent of Hendrix's 'Midnight,' wonderfully colored with King's X-ish triad vocals...an amalgam that has never been explored, much less recorded. The uptempo insert section is unexpected, and it tears the lid completely off the proceedings, then coalesces gracefully back into the groove. Thanks, Ben, for letting us in on stylistic interpretations that defy pigeonhholing, displaying combinational possibilities rarely explored by any artist, irrespective of genre. Again, well done! In closing, it's important to note that the influences on display here should not be construed as 'cookie-cutting' - the familiar and profound influences Ben and his band channel all exhibit a unique technical and stylistic fingerprint. It's all Ben - and his band. Period. He effortlessly kicks in effects from a retro-sensible palette on a bar-by-bar basis to push the envelope and flesh out the power trio delivery with teeth-gritting energy and stylistic confidence, featuring dramatic tonal coloring and classic retro tones, circa 1971...and before. They say that to learn is to remember...so...listen to 'The Sum Of Memories.' Learn...and remember. Welcome back to the future, fellow travelers - The Ben Granfelt Band has been waiting for you. Jimmy Ryan (Truth Squad) (2.08)