Rick Ruskin

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Rick Ruskin is the man behind a number of videotapes providing instruction in how to play guitar in various styles. Here he lines up acoustic and electric guitar alongside modern technology and serves up a mixture of modern jazz and chunky new age. Ruskin is a decent player -- nothing spectacular or flashy, but efficient and functional; he comes across essentially as a session player having a good day doing something he enjoys, just for himself. His arrangements are on the flat side, guitar efficiently laid over an unassuming and unimaginative backing track anchored, often, by a tick-rigid drum machine playing simple patterns. It's the sort of pleasant frippery that fades away immediately after the last notes have been played, always vaguely familiar, but never really intriguing. With so many great guitarists on record around the world, that gives no reason to bother with this album.

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