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Carl Verheyen: Sling Shot

A longtime premier studio musician and known blues master in guitar circles, Carl Verhayen takes aim at the pop-blues arena with Sling Shot (Mighty Tiger MTD 6006; 53:02). Verhayen’s straight-plane, easy tenor vocals are featured throughout the album, producing several ready-for-radio pieces, like “Misunderstood” and “Sling Shot.” Unpretentious yet clever lyrics throughout (“bad news-the fact is, we’re spinning off our axis-but it’s alright,” he sings on “Sling Shot”) complement Verhayen’s guitar theatrics, which (rest assured guitar fans) remain uncompromised. The pop-blues format gives Verhayen a structure which actually liberates his solos. He bends the easy rock melody into effortless blues pretzels on “Sling Shot,” and builds in emotion-packed moves on the sultry dark blues, “Diamonds.” Verhayen lets his roots show as well, jamming solo acoustic before letting his funky ensemble explode “No Walkin’ Blues,” and wandering through a universe of wild stylish licks-fusion to blues to country touches-on “Under Saturn’s Rings.” Fans of Eric Clapton, Robben Ford or even Kenny Wayne Shepherd should gravitate naturally toward this album, which packs the power to sling-shot Verhayen into the upper echelon of adult rock radio.

Originally Published