Southland Blues Room 137 CD Review
November 2001 Volume 12 Number #11

After half a century in the spotlight of popular music, the guitar continues to fascinate. With fingers flying, Curtis Fornadley travels through time and space to reveal ten originals that cover the territory well. Juan Tizol’s “Caravan”, the Duke Ellington standard, has always moved the listener to some exotic, far off land. Curtis includes that one in his travel bag, as he takes the listener on a never-ending tour. “Happy, Hungry and Horny” pumps up the jam in today’s rhythmic jargon, while “Room 137” recalls AM radio, some 40-50 years ago. One tune speaks of Wes Montgomery on a cool Southern California beach, while another recalls John McLaughlin’s far-Eastern excursions.

From 1950’s rock roots to contemporary daydreams, the guitarist’s music speaks to everyone. Curtis mixes the Ventures with the X-Files in one well-recorded package. He closes the album with a smooth “Cajun Red” blues rocker that summarizes the many styles an instrumental guitar album can exhibit. Bassist Don Mouck and drummer Scott Shepherd provide superb support; Shepherd’s drum work is particularly well wrought on “Caravan”.