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Daryl Stuermer releases new solo album, his first with an international record company
Review from Geneis-News
Go. A simple title. And very much to the point. Daryl Stuermer, tour guitarist with Genesis and Phil Collins, has been releasing solo records since 1988, amongst them an album called Another Side Of Genesis containing instrumental versions of Genesis songs (read the review here). But while he played almost all over the world with Genesis and Phil Collins, his solo activities remained restricted to Wisconsin in the United States. Daryl lives in Milwaukee and he lives for the music. Genesis will always be his biggest job, though he has also worked with big names such as Jean-Luc Ponty. Now he does it all soloâ€¦.
Go is a purely instrumental album. It does not take a rocket scientist to predict an enormous density of fast guitar solos. Daryl recorded the album without a singer, because, as he told us in the interview, such a record would have to be a collaboration as he himself is not a singer. Go is pure Stuermer.
Though the album had already been finished last autumn , negotiations with InsideOut Music, who will publish the album on either side of the Atlantic, and strategic considerations were the reasons that the album is released only now, in April 2007. The album will go on sale in Germany on April 20 and three days later in the rest of Europe. Release in North America is on April 24. There will not be much time for promotion as Daryl will begin to rehearse with Genesis at the end of April and then go on tour with them. Only in October may he find the time to play concerts with his own band and promote Go . But it may well turn out that the publicity a Genesis tour generates for his own person, too, is actually not too bad for Go .
There is another familiar name on the album, too. Leland Sklar, currently with Toto and bass player on many of Phil Collins' tours, plays on six songs of the album. Another musician involved is Kostia, a Milwaukee keyboarder originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, with whom Daryl recorded an album of Billy Joel cover versions in the 90s. Where Leland does not play the bass, Eric Hervey takes over while John Calarco plays the drums. Except for Leland, all the musicians come from Milwaukee.
Go consists of ten songs ranging from three and a half to six and a half minute's length. Seven of the songs were written specifically for this album. The other three are from unreleased tracks from 1974 and 1980 brushed up for the record.
- Masala Mantra
- Dream In Blue
- Breaking Point
- Heavy Heart
- The Archer
The very first notes of Striker clearly show where this album is headed. Daryl sound more down to earth than on previous albums. He also plays far more riffs. Rock sounds are garnished with typical Stuermer solos usually played very fast on the album so that Go soon picks up speed. This style of playing the guitar solos produced energy, says Daryl, energy he kept up throughout the album.
The keyboard sounds in the album are very conspicuous, particularly so on Greenlight and Dream In Blue . These songs resemble Toto's from, say, the 7th One album from the late 80s. Daryl's soft spot for keyboard sounds from the 80s becomes evident on most songs.
Masala Mantra is an exotic piece building on rhythms and melodies from the Far East. Heavy Heart is a very balladesque piece. Daryl told us in the interview that Phil Collins may perhaps write some lyrics for this piece. Heavy Heart has neither lyrics nor a singer on Go and leaves one wishing it had. A vocal version of it would have been nice, though Daryl plays his guitar as on the Another Side Of Genesis album, in a very melodic way that imitates a singer, as it were.
Go shows how much fun a technically brilliant guitarist had playing these pieces. Some of the pieces should have been developed into real songs with a singer. Heavy Heart in particular shows Daryl's enormous potential as a songwriter. As it is, Go is a solid effort, a technically excellent record by an exceptional guitarist. Musicians will enjoy Go most, all others may find it more difficult, though not impossible, to get into the album. It would be a welcome change to hear some of Daryl's solo material live. Perhaps the opportunity will come after the Genesis tour. But that's still a long long way to Go â€¦