Monday, July 25, 2005

Steve Howe’s Latest

SpectrumAs some of you know, I've been calling Yes guitarist Steve Howe the most underrated guitarist in rock. The man has some serious chops, and he's as comfortable jamming on an extended rock solo as he is caressing a flamenco styled tune from an acoustic. Well, he has a new album out, called "Spectrum," It's not his best work-the best way I can describe the overall feel of this atmospheric album with slightly jazzy overtones is "pleasant"-but there is still enough of Howe's brilliance peppered throughout to hold your attention. What's most interesting about this album is the backup band. In addition to the legendary bassist Tony Levin of King Crimson (as well as a guy who has played with hundreds of other acts-check out the "worked with" section on his AMG All Music Guide entry if you have a couple of hours to set aside), he not only has his sons, Dylan and Virgil, playing with him, but he has Oliver Wakeman, son of keyboard god Rick Wakeman, playing-what else-keyboards on this thing.

It caused me to do a little search on the Wakeman the younger, and apparently him and Steve Howe put an album out together in 2003. I'm gonna have to check it out...


  1. Rich, it's funny because I've been toting Steve Howe as the most underrated guitarist in rock for years! I'm surprised we've never had that conversation before (forgive me if we memory isn't what it used to be). Add Tony Levin to the mix...briliant. His work with KC is outstanding, and (from interviews I've seen/read) he seems like a pretty cool guy. Dare I say he's one of the most underrated bassists around? Rick Wakeman's son's a smoking keyboard player? Go figure. I'm waiting for Wolfgang Van Halen to grow up, no doubt he'll shred just like dad.

  2. New Howe eh...I might just have to check that out myself. As Rich and Jon can confirm, Howe in concert is fantastic. The whole of Yes is for that matter. Thanks for the heads up Rich!

  3. I don't think Steve Howe is underrated if it's true, and it is, that he won several prizes as the best rock guitarist of the year in the 70's.