World-renowned guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani today releases his 16th solo studio album in thirty years: 'What Happens Next' on Sony/Legacy Recordings - which is a fantastic feat in itself! The new, instrumentally electrifying album features a dynamic power trio of legendary status, all on top form; Satriani on guitar and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee bassist Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple/Black Country Communion) and drummer Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), the latter reuniting with Satriani for the first time since their work in the supergroup Chickenfoot. Satriani is once again joined by producer/engineer/mixer Mike Fraser, his frequent collaborator over the last 20 years - Fraser well-known for recording/mixing every AC/DC album since 1990's 'The Razors Edge' along with his classic works with Satriani going back to the release of 'Crystal Planet' in 1998.
These new tracks literally vibrate the soul with an energy rarely found these days. From the dynamic aptly named opening track, 'Energy', full of Rock from start to finish, to the majestic crunch of track 3 'Thunder High On The Mountain', with its Hard Rock intro, slowing down to Joe’s melodic guitar, ending with a more Folky sound, and the easy, sensual chords of track 5 'Righteous' and Track 6 'Smooth Soul', both slower Rock ballads and good catchy tunes which keep you hooked to the end of each track, although inevitably you feel that they could benefit from added vocals - Sammy H. was obviously busy at the Cabo Wabo! Seriously though, the unparalleled Rock-rhythm section gives 'What Happens Next' a depth of groove that sets it apart from Satriani's other work. Track 2 'Catbot' is more of a drum based track, slowing down mid-track to show-off Joe’s undoubted guitar talent, whilst one of my one of my favourites - track 4 and new single also released today 'Cherry Blossoms' - is full of changing tempos which becomes more of a Rock ballad.
Indeed 'What Happens Next' has multi-faceted genres of music from Blues, Folk to pure Rock - something for everybody - and this is borne out in the second half of the album as we head back to the fast Rock of 'Head Rush', not one for the feint hearted which would sound great live, 'Looper', which has quite a different sound to the other tracks, changing in direction to a more Funky Blues sound, and then the title track with Satriani playing at his best - a great track. The longest track on the album 'Super Funky Badass' does exactly what it says on the tin, whilst 'Invisible', starts fast and carries that energy throughout with its pure Rock guitar. 'For Ever and Ever', is great track to finish on, more of the same great music - in conclusion a great instrumental album played by great musicians. I highly recommend this album.
What Happens Next? Well the good news is that yesterday Satriani revived his G3 tour entity in Seattle, WA, with Dream Theater's John Petrucci and Def Leppard lead guitarist, Phil Collen joining him. Since its debut in 1996, Satriani's G3 tour has featured the worlds greatest guitarists (everyone from Steve Vai and Eric Johnson to Steve Lukather and Robert Fripp) and has become a consistent concert hall sell-out attraction in the U.S., South America, Europe, Australia and Japan. The G3 tour continues across the U.S. before winding up on 25th February in Milwaukee, WI before G3 hits mainland Europe on 16th March in Moscow and winds up on 30th April in Birmingham in between playing shows in the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland and more. Replacing Collen on the European leg will be former Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth - with each guitarist performing their own set, followed by a massive jam at the end of the show. Do not miss it.