Just a single look at the cover of this release should give some sort of idea as to when this music is inspired from, and the first few bars of opening number “No Deposit, No Return” just cements that even further as Gayle noodles on his guitar and my immediate thought was, “This is honest music, and I’m going to like it.” The band is a trio with Gayle (electric and acoustic guitars, Hammond B-3 organ, Rhodes electric piano) joined by Craig Kahn (drums) and Mark Cook (bass), and even before reading the biography and realizing that Gayle had wanted to recreate a guitar instrumental album inspired by the music he was listening to in the Seventies I knew exactly where this was coming from as it is solidly set in that sound, with the B-3 only emphasizing that even further.

This is a long way from the styles brought in by Satriani, Vai, and others when they reimagined the world of the rock instrumental, but instead, it is warm with a solid rhythm section and a guitarist who stays more focussed on melody than shredding at a million notes to the bar and using massive effects boards to manipulate the output. The songs are mostly rooted in blues-based rock, as much of it was in the Seventies, but the band also dip their toes into fusion and jazz, while there is some judicious use of wah-wah here and there. We even get Frampton-style voice box on “Donuts & Fishtails”, and there is a fluidity to the band which only comes from countless hours playing together. The overall result is an album which pleasantly dated and very easy to listen to, and another interesting addition to the growing roster of artists on Peacock Sunrise.  7/10

by Kev Rowland