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Mads Eriksen: Suburban Cowboy (CD, 45:18); Holographic Records HR13-ME1CD The title is your first clue. The title track, song one, is the hammer that nails the rusty- headed nail in the old woodshed of your mind. Eriksen is one heck of a crossover genre guitarist. His chicken feed, moonshine-runnin', Saturday Nite Hoedown Rock is some of the best country western, speed pluckin' I have ever heard. Roll Bela Fleck, (Eriksen attacks banjo and mandolin), Eric Johnson, Satriani, Les Paul, and Roy Clark into one big homemade steak and egg biscuit and -- you gotta hear this for yourself to believe it. I like to see line dancin' to these tunes. I doubt their boots could survive two full Eriksen wild rollin' finger picking runs. He shows a tenderly beautiful mellow side as well when he wants. Eriksen can slow dance too. Imagine all the best bluegrass, country, western, rockabilly, hillbilly jams and searing blues rock instrumentals you have ever heard. Hold that set of tunes in mind. Execute each with Eric Johnson, Satriani, M. Lee Firkins, M. Watkins, and B. Fleck precision, flash, and feeling and you get a good sense of what this Norwegian guitarist is all about. Admirable and truly interesting accomplishments are to be heard here. I'd love to be zippin' across eastern Montana with the Rockies edging up on the horizon listening to Eriksen. He's a new log on the fire on a cold night. He's a mud-covered 4X4 slingin' gravel through your windshield. But most important here's a truly unique sound. Recommended ta all y'all hither and yon -- even if ya ain't from around these parts. ~ John W. Patterson
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