Across the Border
As guitarist for the Head Arrangers, the Mnemonist Orchestra, Mirage, Ruckus and the Bobby Berge Project, John Herdt's musical journey has spanned styles ranging from psychedelic rock to prime jazz-rock fusion (think Billy Cobham's Spectrum album) to blues and funk to the new form of progressive rock that he presents here. This music was composed and performed with the spirit of adventure throughout, complex enough to make stories and surprises bloom in your head, but with concise arrangements and memorable melodic hooks. From the cinematic slide guitar on 'The Touch' to the blistering but uplifting solos on 'Less I Know' there is a wealth of powerhouse guitar, but it's the melodies and spirit that make this more than just another hot rod guitar album. Known by many for his work producing CDs for the Tommy Bolin Archives and for his audio tutorials on how to play some of Bolin's material, John has been receiving many honored requests for his own music, and here is a chance to take some for a spin. Drummer Wally Z manned the drums in Canada's Ozgood Slatter, a great original band that deserved to have at least a few breakthrough MTV hard rock hits. On Across the Border Wally's drums become an integral part of the music and are worth taking listens to just to see how musical a hard rock drummer can be and should play. Wally's vocals also impart vibrancy to tunes such as 'Home Sick Lilly,' which unfolds a story with lyrics that are almost visual. On 'Funkicide' his drumming shows that a hard rock sensibility applied to a hard funk tune is an almost unbeatable combination, he rides it hard and puts it away wet. On 'Eleventh Hour' his light cymbal work and sparse drums bring to mind Jeff Beck's Blow by Blow period. Across the Border is an album that 'crosses the border' from the U.S. to Canada as it crosses borders in musical styles from track to track. Let Across the Border be the soundtrack to some of your movies of the mind. Kick back to it through some headphones with the lights real low, you might just float away. Please note that these are real CDs rather than CD-Rs, have bar codes and are shrink wrapped. They were manufactured by Disc Makers, who John Herdt is happy to recommend to other artists. JOHN HERDT: Guitars, bass, harmonica and vocals WALLY Z: Drums, percussion and vocals Please note that there are no keyboards on this material. Three of the tunes have parts that may sound like a keyboard or sequencer, but they are actually electric or acoustic guitars played through effects. Sorry for making this qualification, but some guitar fans have been interested in who played the keyboards!