Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Song of the Day: Cut to the Chase (Steve Morse Band)

This has been a favorite song from its release in 1991's "Southern Steel"; Steve Morse is one of those guitar players that other guitar players listen to, with an impressive resume (the Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple) and some incredible chops.

In this track, Morse is joined by former Night Ranger guitarist Jeff Watson in a blistering southern-fried jazz-rock-country duet. The cartoon's got nothing to do with the song.

The part of the song that blew me away comes in at about 1:40, starting with bass player Dave La Rue tapping a triplet figure.

Then the guitar comes in.

For the past 20 years, I thought that the complex tapping was all Jeff Watson, who's known for his 8-fingered tapping technique. I've spent hours trying to figure out the pattern, wondering how the hell one man's 8 fingers was doing this. I've seen some transcriptions of his solos with Night Ranger, and there's nothing close to this among them.

Then, two nights ago, I stumbled upon this live clip of the Steve Morse Band playing the song...and Jeff Watson's no longer on the Guitar God pedestal. Morse and La Rue are playing The Riff themselves, and based on the Night Ranger transcriptions I looked at, Watson's contribution is the shorter riff that shows up at around 1:51 in the clip above.

Scratch one Guitar God--and install a Bass God in his place:

It looks like Morse is playing a straightforward triplet tapping pattern, but I'd like to see more of La Rue's hands so I can finally figure this thing out.

What a great song.

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