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Joe Satriani "Fires up his Engines of Creation"
April 12, Sacramento, Ca
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Joe Satriani Jams Away

.....Since the beginning of his recording career, guitarist Joe Satriani has been the most significant "Guitar God," dishing out gymnastic riffs - lightning-fast picking, whammy bar and tapping techniques, intense arpeggios - with heart and controlled abandon. "Surfing" With the Alien," his 1987 breakthrough, was the first instrumental rock album in years to reach Billboard's Top 30.
......His new album, "Engines of Creation," breaks new ground for Satriani. On the record, he abandoned the traditional rock arrangements of earlier works and recorded without live bass and drums, associating his stellar six-string virtuosity with elements of electro-experimentation. The focus is on sampled grooves, programmed rhythms and synthesized sounds. Satriani's co-producer was Eric Caudieux, known for his digital editing and programming work alongside producer Trevor Horn (Art Of Noise, Yes, Seal, Rod Stewart). Caudieux is responsible for morphing the guitar melodies into otherworldly sounds on cuts like "Borg Sex." Satriani isn't the first guitar player to "go techno," but he moves the marriage of shreds and samples forward. He's in that small group of musicians who can grow with the times, yet always remain true to themselves. While Satriani can be commended for his creativity, many fans and critics agree that Engines of Creation contains too much techno and not enough rock guitar. His trademark sound is lost amid a flurry of electronic basslines and keyboard blasts. And the album lacks variety.
........... But fans interested in attending a Satriani concert need not panic. The Grammy-nominated artist, played plenty of old tunes when he took the stage on opening night of his new tour in Sacramento. Incredible, as always. The energy was awesome. The band played music from every record, sprinkle a few new songs throughout their set. Personal favorites of the night were: Down Down Down, Cool #9, Ice 9, Surfin, Rubina, and Until we say Goodbye. The new songs did not come across with a " techno spoil , they rocked hard with killer grooves and beat. Joe Satriani, touring with Eric Caudieux on keyboards-rythum (guitar), Jeff Campitelli (drums) and Stu Hamm (bass guitar).

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By Randy Cohen

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