Artist: Ray DeTone
Album: Guitar Noir
Label: Dancetone Music
Reviewer: Mark Lewis
Date: Jul 19, 2011
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 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5MOfwq5P4E
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
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 http://www.raydetone.com/GuitarNoir.html
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.
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.