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Curtis - Out of the Shell

LA based guitarist Curtis Fornadley, has been involved in music since the age of 11. His first release came out in 1998, and since then, Curtis has released 3 other albums, the latest being Out of the Shell. Two years in the making, Curtis made this CD with the intention of it sounding "as honest as possible". He has certainly achieved that and much, much more. 

This is a really amazing CD with some stellar musicianship, well crafted songs and guitar playing that is just beautiful.

Do Fret takes a look at this fabulous CD!

Tasty, is one of those terms that is sometimes applied to guitarists. I can think of no better word to describe Curtis' playing than...well...TASTY! The playing and tones found on Out of the Shell are nothing short of sublime. Tone hounds will revel in the sounds on this release! From crystal clear leads, to just breaking up tones, to crisp, clean and tight rhythms - comparisons with greats such as Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck and Scott Henderson are well deserved.

The musicianship on Out of the Shell is just phenomenal - with Curtis handling all the guitars, drums are provided by Rob Chismar and bass is provided by Dave Hill. Production is really stand out too - the music feels very organic, with lots of space to breathe.

The tracks themselves range from the Tribal Tech like title track, to a solo jazz rendition of Henry Mancini's Charade, through blues rock and country tinged tracks - there's even an up to date rendition of Apache - all expertly executed with a strong sense of melody and emphasis on the songs themselves - this is a CD that should appeal to many - not just guitar fans.

TAG spotters alert!

Curtis' playing is so well balanced - he has great technique, but when he rips, it is always done to add flavour to the song and he knows when to lay back to allow the groove or feel of the song to shine. His style is somewhat difficult to categorise, as I think he may have achieved one of the Holy Grails of guitar playing - that of having his own voice on the instrument. I hear elements of Beck and Eric Johnson, as well as Steve Vai and Wes Montgomery - certainly fans of those players will love Out of the Shell.

Curtis - Charade

It's difficult to pick stand out tracks as the songs are equally great, but for me, the closer, 10 Years (marking the 10th Anniversary of Curtis' Mother passing) is heart-achingly beautiful, sincere and moving. This music really touches you. 

I would urge anyone that loves great guitar playing to pick up a copy of this CD. You can hear previews on Curtis' website. Also check out his music here:

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Thanks to Curtis!

Trevor Beckett
Do Fret 

August 2010