Shape Shifter

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Two albums for the price of one, this 28-track opus combines both of Quicksilver mainstay Gary Duncan's mid-'90s Shape Shifter releases, and the triumphs just keep on piling up as the discs play through. Surrounded both by his Quicksilver bandmates and a host of friends, Duncan rockets through an almost bewildering succession of moods, styles, and notions without ever losing sight of the fact that he remains one of the most visionary guitarists of his generation. Tracks like "Angeline," "Steve McQueen," and "Jackie Boy" catch him soaring skyward, alternately gloriously commercial and heartbreakingly blues-drenched, and, while there are a few tracks here that could, perhaps, have been left on the floor -- or at least saved for the website-only third and fourth volumes of Shape Shifter -- still, nothing disappoints. In addition, the comparative brevity of many of the songs (nothing tops seven minutes, and many remain around four) allows Duncan to spread his ideas so widely that you don't even worry if one track gets wearing. There'll be another far better one along very soon.

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