CD+DVD Reviews

The Carl Verheyen Band – Take One Step – AIX Records

Another option-packed DVD plus separate CD

Published on December 26, 2006

The Carl Verheyen Band – Take One Step – AIX Records
The Carl Verheyen Band – Take One Step – AIX Records AIX 81007 Enhanced CD + separate DVD-A/DVD-ROM, 56:31 ***1/2:

Unlike many of the guitarists of Verheyen’s caliber today, Carl actually has a palatable voice—it reminds me sometimes of Glen Frey, and other times sounds like someone similar to Gerry Rafferty—i.e. a 70s-sounding male vocal.  The music is adult contemporary pop/rock with emphasis on guitar—Verheyen’s instrument.  The music incorporates a blend of jazz, funk, rock, and even blues.  The band includes: Cliff Hugo (bass), Bernie Dresel (drums & percussion), Chad Wackerman (drums), and Jim Cox (Keyboards & Hammond B-3).  There are interviews with both Dresel and Wackerman explaining their important contribution to the band.

The early tracks are easy to listen to and have a universal appeal.  Track four is a tune that could be compared to Joe Satriani’s “Surfing With the Alien.”  Track five has a political bent with a somewhat folk-rock feel reminiscent of a Sting tune.  Track six starts off as an exploration of funk, but shifts gears and turns into an entirely different pop/rock tune with a hint of Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar and a resounding chorus.  Seven and eight are mellower, softer tracks with electric guitar that have a classical guitar feel to them.  The thing I like about Verheyen is his ability to combine the music of the last three decades comfortably while still managing to stay fresh.  The songs that are more restrained will appeal to a wider audience.

Here are some of the many features/extras provided by AIX on this 2-disc set:  Enhanced CD – Video Trailer for “Rumor Mill” DVD; MP3 files for all tracks; PDF Files of three music charts; Ring Tones.  DVD – DVD-A 5.1 “Stage” Track; DD 5.1 “Audience” Track; DTS 5.1 “Stage” Track; 96 kHz/24-bit Stereo Mix; Photo Gallery (18); Discography; The Making of Take One Step (52 min); Bernie Dresel Interview (12 min); Chad Wackerman (9 min).

Video on the DVD is letterboxed in a 1.33:1 frame.  The main video sequence takes the viewer through the steps of writing the songs and should be of great interest to any musician, but especially to guitarists/songwriters.  Static background is displayed over the music.  Stage mix is more up front, but Audience mix still gives lots of surround information.  Recording quality is A/A+.  Songs included are:  Georgia’s Reel (Just a Start); The Code; You Bring Me Down; In The Stream; Take One Step; Lighthouse; Dusk (Two Views of the Canyon): Part I; Dusk (Two Views of the Canyon): Part II; Topanga Hoedown; Bells of April.

-Brian Bloom

 




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