Guitar Noir

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  Artist: Ray DeTone
  Album: Guitar Noir
  Label: Dancetone Music
  Reviewer: Mark Lewis
  Date: Jul 19, 2011

I say Ray DeTone and you will probably say “who?”. Ray is perhaps the most unknown of all the prolific guitar players who have ever come along. Think Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jason Becker, Randy Rhoads, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Tony McAlpine and you start to get the idea. Ray is not only a phenomenal guitar player but also a producer as well, having recently worked on Mark Clarke’s new album. Ray has the ability to amaze and astound all who listen to him play, from the very first note until the very last.

He has released an album entitled ‘Guitar Noir’ which is 15 instrumental songs in length and shows you just what an amazing player he truly is. Not unlike Joe Bonamassa, many have not heard of him, or do not recognize the name upon first mention, but get into his resume and it is another ball game. Among those he has tour and performed with is Paul DiAnno. An example of this can be heard here

The album has an amazing showcase of various styles, from Rock to Metal, from Flamenco to Jazz, and even a hint of Blues in there. Every single aspect of every single song is 100 percent top notch and amazingly and lovingly crafted. Beyond this, which will amaze you even more, is the fact that Ray plays the all Electric, Acoustic, and Nylon stringed Classical guitars as well as Bass, Keyboards, and he does some of the percussion work as well. The album goes beyond a standard Guitar virtuoso album, as we have come to expect them over the last several years, because he does touch so many musical styles. But make no mistake, when you play on a Jason Becker Tribute album, you better have the chops in Rock/Metal and Ray does, in spades. Just when you think he is going one way, musically he hits a side road and takes you down a new vista, and you will love it and definitely want the ride to never stop.

One thing everyone needs to do it pick up this album, whether you play the guitar or not. There are treasures here waiting to be discovered, and lessons, musically speaking, for us all to learn. I am sure you will discover, as I did after the album had finished playing, that your jaw will be on the floor the entire time, just as mine was. Very few artists have a profound impact such as this on the listener, Ray does. Ray DeTone, a name you hopefully will hear more and more as time rolls on!!! For tracks from the new album, click here





Guitar Noir
DanceTone Music

Ray DeTone is a man on a mission. Accomplished in a myriad of guitar-based genres, he has bundled them all together in Guitar Noir and lets the listener decide which they like best. Having cut his chops with 80s melodic rock band Drive, She Said DeTone spread his metallic wings in Paul Diannos Killers then switched over to backing Ronnie Specter and finally landed in the orchestra pit for Jesus Christ Superstar.

Prog Rock is DeTones self declared favorite stating, I love it because it doesnt have the same emotion and texture throughout the entire piece. Aside from his previous records Once More...With Feeling and Strange World the guitarist has recently immersed himself in studio and soundtrack work.
The diversity has sharpened his playing with hooks o plenty and an ever-broadening canvas. Beginning the disc with the atmospheric Lights Down he paints a gentle musical landscape before stretching out into the thundering Sexy Heavy. Picking out an acoustic intro in Guitar Suicide, the New York native then tackles an array of directions, each breathing excitement and vitality through his passionate playing.

There is the easy-listening Tequila Funk and exotic La Bomba Beauty to the more aggressive Funk You Too! Late night jams pop up in Jazzy Blues Bop followed by an ode to progressive meanderings in the fuzzy March of Grind. Both Dirty Sabbath and Zak Label bring metal to the mix, then it all shifts over to a refreshing splash of fun in the flamenco-styling of Spanish Gypsy and the dusty trails of Spaghetti Score.

Todd K. Smith - Editor


RAY DETONE - GUITAR NOIR  Dancetone Music, 2006
15 tracks, RT: 53:55

I've always enjoyed film soundtracks, not necessarily the hit songs that movies often launch but more often the background music you hear playing throughout the film. Suffice it to say that because movie music must often reflect a variety of moods and atmospheres, any composer of such soundtracks must be a master of diversity, able to deliver exactly what is required for various scenes.
Ray DeTone is a New York based musician known for his work with such artists as Drive, She Said and Paul Dianno's Killers, but on GUITAR NOIR he stretches out his compositional skills to include rock, metal, blues, jazz, flamenco, progressive, and Latin styles, creating an enjoyable mix of instrumentals. Originally intended to be used for TV and films, Ray selected 15 of his favorite pieces from the writing sessions and included them on GUITAR NOIR. Songs like "Tequila Funk," "Jazzy Blues Bop," "March Of Grind" and "Spanish Gypsy" clearly demonstrate why Ray is a sought after composer, session player and producer. Ray keeps
things interesting not only by incorporating such variety but also by including a healthy dose of melody in his compositions. The mix onGUITAR NOIR is quite good, only the drum machine on several tracks detracting somewhat from the instrumentation. Overall an engaging andinfectious album from someone I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more from in the future.

- Review by: Neal Woodall