Fireworks

Maragold - 'Maragold' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1a/0c/2e/maragold-maragold-24-1381863015.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 15, 2013    
 
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A fine album that blurs the lines between many genres.

A new name on the scene, Maragold is the brainchild of renowned fusion/shred guitarist Greg Howe, who after his original arrival in the late eighties as part of Mike Varney's Shrapnel stable, has made his name as a solo artist and collaborator with everyone from Richie Kotzen, Victor Wooten and Dennis Chambers, to sideman for the likes of Rihanna, Enrique Iglesias, Justin Timberlake and Michael Jackson. Joined by former solo album alumni Kevin Vecchione (bass) and Gianluca Palmieri (drums), a fruitless search for a male vocalist eventually brought them into contact with the lovely Meghan Krauss, and what a find she has turned out to be.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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With a hard rock/funk/soul/pop hybrid sound not a million miles away from Richie Kotzen himself, the gutsy vocals of Krauss give Maragold many options, from her androgynous attack on upbeat rockers 'Paradigm Tsunami' and 'Evergreen Is Golder', to the gloriously poppy 'Oracle' and laid-back R&B of 'Cry'. The supreme chops of all the players are there for all to hear, with a fluidly lithe rhythm section and Howe's amazing riffs and sparingly-used guitar flurries. If a cross between Extreme and Mothers Finest (with a hint of Van Halen) floats your boat then 'Lullaby', 'Penniless & Sane' and the jam-like 'Boom Boom Tap (Dance On)' should be right up your street, along with the slowly building 'Story's Ending' and the Heart/RHCP mix of 'Magic Pain'.

With songs written mostly by Howe and Vecchione, with occasional help from Greg's brother and Howe II vocalist Al, this is a fine album that blurs the lines between many genres. Howe's production is clear, powerful and totally organic and he's managed to capture a vocal performance from Meghan Krauss that places her firmly in the upper echelon of great female singers. Completely song-oriented and probably not what you would expect from a player of Greg Howe's reputation, Maragold will hopefully manage to cast their net much wider than to people who buy guitar magazines and catch the audience they deserve.

Phil Ashcroft

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