VINNIE MOORE – Soul Shifter (2019)
“Soul Shifter” is the new album by sublime guitarist VINNIE MOORE, his ninth solo studio album featuring guest appearances by legendary artists Rudy Sarzo (OZZY OSBOURNE, QUIET RIOT) and Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER).
Vinnie is considered one of the originators of shred guitar in the ’80s and has released eight influential solo albums, and six albums and a live DVD as a member of rock royalty legends UFO. He’s been a member of Alice Cooper’s band, made countless album guest appearances, and has even recorded the soundtrack for a Pepsi TV commercial.
Vinnie is one of the best guitarists of his generation, on par with phenomenons Satriani, Vai or Malmsteen.
His solo and UFO recordings as well as live performances have amassed rave reviews all around the globe from both fans and music press, catapulting him into guitar icon distinction.
He has been an inspiration for fans and guitarists worldwide.
“Soul Shifter” is an amalgam of Vinnie’s career and influences, and no better than him to explain it;
“Solo records are a great vehicle because the canvas is totally open and I can paint whatever and wherever I want. There’s total freedom in not having boundaries. All of my influences are on the canvas, from Rock to Blues to to Funk, even R&B and beyond.
I have always felt music deeply even before I played guitar. After I began playing, it became my vehicle to express and release what I feel inside. I love channeling my soul into melodies and songs.”
Says Vinnie: “I have been touring all over the world extensively with UFO and my solo band for the past 16 years. I started this album a couple years back and have been working on it religiously between tours. It’s quite different than any of my others. It has elements of things I’ve done in the past, but has gone much deeper into certain areas.
There is an overall sort of contrast between energetic upbeat songs, versus ballad-like soulful ones which has always been a big part of my style. There are some jam elements in places too. This is likely the most emotional and soulful thing I have ever done. Very moody, with lots of feel.
“I wrote a song as a tribute to Carlos Santana, called ‘Brother Carlos’, and another called ‘Gainesville Station’ which is a tip of the hat to Steve Gaines. Both players were huge influences on me when I was learning to play, and continue to be now.
“When something moves me, what I am feeling flows directly into music. That’s how I deal with reality. I woke up one morning to the news that Chris Cornell had passed and it really hit me hard.
I went into my studio, picked up a guitar and immediately wrote and recorded ‘Mystified’. Without intending to do so, and because of what was going on around me at the time, this album in a way became a tribute to people who meant something to me.”
“The ALLMAN BROTHERS were always one of my favorite bands and I was working on a song called ‘Soul Rider’ that was inspired by them. While writing it, unfortunately, Greg Allman left us. A lot of heart went into recording that song.
Also, I wrote a song called ‘Heard You Were Gone’ for my friend and band mate Elliott (Dean Guitars) who left us unexpectedly a couple years back.
“There are definitely some downhearted cathartic moments on this album, but they’re balanced out with songs like ‘Kung Fu Grip’ and ‘Funk Bone Jam’ that represent the opposite side of my personality, which is my constant joking and quirky sense of humor.”
Vinnie Moore’s playing and songwriting are more and more (no pun) refined with age. He can shred alongside the best here, and at the next song reach your heart with only 3 notes.
Instrumental Rock albums are true rare avis these days, and few are able to release this type of records and entertain you from start to finish. There’s something for everyone on “Soul Shifter”, very enjoyable for Rock fans and a must have for 6-string players or musicians in general.
01 – Funk Bone Jam
02 – Same Sun Shines
03 – Kung Fu Grip
04 – Mystified
05 – Brother Carlos
06 – Gainesville Station
07 – Soul Rider
08 – Mirage
09 – Heard You Were Gone
10 – Across the Ages
Vinnie Moore – all guitars, synths (2, 8, 9, 10), bass (3, 8)
Richie Monica – drums (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
John Pessoni – drums (2, 10)
Rudy Sarzo – bass (1)
Randy McStine – bass (2, 10)
Michael Bean – bass (4, 5, 6, 7, 9), pedal steel (9)
John Cassidy – hammond organ (1, 3, 6, 7), clavinet (1), piano
Jordan Rudess – piano solo (6)