Ah, that has been a long time! An instrumental guitar album that is. I am not really a specialist in this genre, but to me Rich is closer to one Joe Satriani, than to any neo classical shredder. So that means it is about songs and melodies ladies and gents, and not only about torturing the string as much as possible.
Still Rich knows how to handle his instrument. Opening with The Beginning, the mood is set straight away. Heavy riff and when the drums kick in, the guitar melody immediately takes over. Of course later on there is some soloing going on, but that is, after all, the purpose of an instrumental guitar album now ain´t it? Brie`s Song is beautiful. A relaxed atmosphere, not unlike Always With Me Always With You from Satriani, albeit this is faster. Peaceful Sorrow surprises with a piano opening, before heavy guitar chords kick in and the guitars take over. Saturday Night Serenade is another tasteful work and sits well between the more uptempo tracks.
Alas Rich is not yet in the same league as Joe, as I keep hearing doubled notes here and there that are not quite in tune with the lead melody, but I can understand why he is extremely proud of this effort. It sounds like it should, songs are good and memorable, there is a lot of variation (also in guitar sounds), and like I said, it is about songs, rather then technique.
As a bonus, all proceeds of this album go the the Hasbro hospital in Providence RI. The daughter of Rich suffers from Crohn`s disease, and the hospital deserves something back for their help. Which is of course a very noble cause that deserves your attention as much as any! So click the website link and support this.