Stevie Salas

Sun and the Earth, Vol. 1

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Since he's spent most of his career as either a hired gun or a session guitarist for a large and impressive list of renowned artists, Stevie Salas never truly got the recognition he deserves. But as evidenced throughout his first ever compilation, 2007's Sun and the Earth, Vol. 1, Salas is indeed one of the more versatile guitarists on the rock scene. For proof of this, all you have to do is take a look at the special guests who drop by: Jerry Cantrell, Bootsy Collins, Mike Garson, Sass Jordan, Ivan Neville, and Ronnie Wood, among others. Expectedly, the music is a smorgasbord of styles -- "Tell Your Story Walkin" encompasses both funk and pop, "Cover Me in Noise" features some Jon Bon Jovi-esque vocals, "Hoochie Toad" would fit on a Red Hot Chili Peppers album, while "A Dedication to You" is a psychedelia-tinged tune. Elsewhere, you'll find a faithful cover of one of Led Zeppelin's most underrated rockers, "Hots on for Nowhere," while Cantrell's guest spot on "Soul Ecstasy" is a surprise (as it's a clean, laid-back Prince-esque pop ditty, not the detuned metal riffing you'd expect from the Alice in Chains' guitarist). Instead of having to sift through Salas' extensive discography, Sun and the Earth, Vol. 1 is a fine sampler/taster of this oft-overlooked guitarist.

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