Reviews > CDs
Eric Krasno, Reminisce, Soulive, Rubber Soulive
Guitarist Eric Krasno participated in two completely different creative processes when producing his debut solo album, Reminisce, and an album of Beatles’ covers with his Soulive bandmates entitled Rubber Soulive. While Krasno put years of effort and fine-tuning into Reminisce, Soulive was in and out of the studio in a few days to record Rubber Soulive.
Rubber Soulive offers a unique spin on 11 classic Beatles tunes from 1965 to 1969 that differ just enough from the originals to make them interesting but not enough to make them unrecognizable. Krasno and Neal Evans simulate the lyrics on guitar and keys respectively, throughout the instrumental album with drummer Alan Evans channeling funky drummer Clyde Stubblefield. There are no extended jams here as the longest track on the LP clocks in under five minutes. Standout tracks include “Revolution,” which the trio reworks into a rave-up complete with a syncopated beat, a psychedelic-tinged “Eleanor Rigby” and a powerful version of “Come Together.” The quicker the pace, the more intriguing the performance as “Something” and “In My Life” tend to drag.
One Beatles cover not found on Rubber Soulive is “Get Back,” which Krasno performs for Reminisce. The track features scorching guitar riffs, rollicking organ work by Nigel Hall and a potent sax solo from Ryan Zoidis. Hall provides plenty of highlights on the album including his raw, hypnotic vocals on “Manic Depression.” Longtime Royal Family Records crew members Adam Deitch, Louis Kato, Cochemea Gastelum and Stu Brooks also lend their talents to Reminisce.
Stylistically, Kraz shows off many different sides of his musical personality and pays tribute to many eras throughout the guitar-heavy Reminisce. “‘76” sounds straight out of 1976 with analog synthesizers giving this tune a disco edge—think Edgar Winter’s “Frankenstein” meets Billy Preston’s “Outtaspace.” The album’s best track, “Be Alright,” has a more modern sound with a pulsing beat and soul-drenched singing from Hall. The percussion-driven “Enhorabuena” could be a Santana outtake and the closing track, “End of the Movie,” has a vibe reminiscent of Duane Allman’s “Little Martha.”
Despite the disparate methods of creation, the engaging music on both albums shows why Krasno is considered to be in the upper echelon of modern guitarists.
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