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Satch-a Claus is coming to town

| December 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

Thanks to Trans-Siberian Orchestra, orchestral guitar rock has joined instrumental acoustic-guitar picking as a default holiday-music setting. (Along with rockabilly, oddly.)

So in some way, Joe Satriani’s scheduled date this weekend fits right in the season. That his latest album is called Black Swans And Wormhole Wizards might create some wrinkles, but Satch has always been an ardent songwriter and arranger, attributes that vaulted him above the shredding fray in the ’80s. That might cause those of you who came to him from the Sammy Hagar-fronted Chickenfoot to choke, but Black Swans features him in his comfort zone, crafting progressive-rock passages and letting all the instruments do their jobs. Particularly opportunistic for this tour, however, the album’s basic tracks were recorded as a live setup in the studio, perhaps channeling some Chickenfoot and Experience Hendrix experience, but mostly creating space for the mix. And leaving plent of room for eggnog. (Sunday@Chicago Theatre.)

— Steve Forstneger

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