5/29/2008 - Review by: Frank Hill
Randy Ellefson has an interesting bit of irony to his bio. After he decided to become a classical guitar major in college, he practiced to the point of developing severe tendonitis in both arms which sidetracked him for years. His body simply could not keep pace with his ambition, but his persistence didn't stop him from using alternate means to reach his goals.
His eventual recovery led to his debut cd, The Firebard, an all-instrumental guitar-based rocker with 80s influences. Randy builds off of a musical motif, or fragment, into full songs keeping with a style that is more pleasant than discordant and unlike most superior guitarists, Randy plays on a level that can be appreciated by the casual listener and the professional who can analyze all the nuances. His background riffs, which are catchy on their own, are overlaid with melodic leads that stray into shredland without getting too twiddly. With the guitar tone staying similar throughout, some more variation in form would have kept my interest through the in. A little at a time served me best.
His back story of achievement is better reflected in his subsequent release, Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid, but his music and life is inspiring and The Firebard is a good start to become aquainted with Randy's music and journey.
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