'The Devil's Been Busy' is the title of Texas-based guitarist Victor Gann's first full-length release. But it's Gann who's been the busy one. His self-titled debut release (2006) was reviewed here about a year ago, and has since seen more admiration by more reviewers and his peers. Also, Gann has been honored as one of the Top Unsigned Artists of 2008 by Ultimate-Guitar.com. I remember saying that this is one artist that should not go overlooked. Well, now you have a second chance to check on this first rate guitar hero. You will not be disappointed.
If Victor Gann sounds like he could be in league with Satriani or Gilbert, you are correct. The influences are obvious. Yet, what makes Gann unique, and what I makes me a fan of his fret work, is his precision and passion. Gann's precision is not like others; there's still a certain earthy rawness to his riffs and licks as found on 'For Love' or 'Black Gold.' On the other hand, his accuracy can marvel the smoothness of a young Santana on the title track (Carlos was never this heavy) or the immensely pleasing 'A Walk With God' (possibly my favorite cut).
As for his passionate playing, Gann's emotions drip like drops of blood on many pieces. Again, his family, particularly his wife and daughter, form the basis for his writing. 'Shannon and Victoria' picks up where 'Shannon With Child' left off. This is a beautiful, soft and complex song that captures Gann's love for his wife, daughter (and child on the way).
Another passionate piece is the aforementioned 'Black Gold.' The composition includes some heavy melodic rock/metal riffs mingled with focused and intense licks. I wonder if Gann had the roughnecks of Texas oil country in mind because the music defines the intensity of their work. Yet, not all emotion is serious: when Gann cuts loose, he has some fun. 'Out Past Midnight' is a rowdy and rollicking ride.
Finally, mention should be made of Gann's back up band. This crew is impressive: steady and tight. Take note of the fine bass (Thomas Hopper) and drum (Bruce Ryan) work on 'Beyond The Sun' as one example. Gann could not have a better canvas to create his work.
'The Devil's Been Busy' is a first class work from Victor Gann: solid and creative guitar work from a musician genuinely passionate about his music. My only complaint is that it wasn't long enough. I hope you don't get mad my friend, but I'll bet you had a few more songs up your sleeve. Bravo! (And thanks for the nod in the liner notes!)
'The Devil's Been Busy' is a first class work from Texas-based guitarist Victor Gann: a solid and creative guitar album from a musician genuinely passionate about his music. Bravo!
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