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Major Impacts, Vol. 2

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Album Review

Major Impacts was an interesting idea pitched to Steve Morse: paying tribute to the myriad of bands, players, and musical styles that have influenced him not by doing covers, but by recycling the riffs and feel of those influences and crafting Morse originals out of them. No surprise, Major Impacts, Vol. 2 is more of the same, though with some choices that may surprise people. "Wooden Music" does a great job of evoking Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young with nice acoustic playing and harmonized guitars. His tribute to the music of the British Invasion starts with a Hollies 12-string intro and ends up somewhere near "Itchycoo Park," and "Where Are You" is a well put together tip to the Who, where drummer Van Romaine does a good Keith Moon. "Organically Grown" supplies the bombast of ELP and "Abracadabra" has the quirky construction of post-Peter Gabriel Genesis. The somewhat surprising choices are the Bach-esque piece "Air on a 6 String" and the country-western/bluegrass hoedown "Tri County Barn Dance." Morse's salute to Enya and the Celtic ballad is right on target: superficially pretty yet ultimately bland, and the only real misstep on the album. Major Impacts, Vol. 2 really shows what a versatile player Morse is, and why he's been a member of bands as disparate as the Dixie Dregs, Kansas, and Deep Purple.


Born: 28 July 1954 in Hamilton, OH

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Steve Morse has enjoyed a healthy following particularly among guitar players, he has scored highly in readers' polls held annually by musicians' magazines. Although initially inspired by the Beatles as a teen, Morse began to expand his listening to include the Yardbirds, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. Although he played a little piano and some clarinet, he became fascinated with guitar after seeing a concert by classical guitarist Juan Mercadal, who later gave the teenaged Morse some lessons. Deeply...
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