A while ago, Hungarian guitar master Tamas Szekeres released an album of guitar covers entitled "Guitar Hits" (a.k.a. "Guitar Hardware"). Where his own recordings at times fail to convince, this album showed that he could do all the tricks and chops of the world's guitar greats, that he possessed incredible technique. Recently he has released a second cover album, this time called "The Loner - Guitar Hardware II".

The album kicks off with the incredibly strong Tony MacAlpine composition "The Sage". You won't hear me saying that Tamas cannot play, because his rendition is beautiful and displays soulful vibrato. There are several such highlights on the record, such as the sensitive "Song for Jeff" (Steve Lukather), the groovy "Five Mile Limit" (Greg Howe) and the heavy rocker "Into the Arena" (Michael Schenker). Songs by Vinnie Moore, Joe Satriani and Gary Moore (the title track) find themselves in the company of Tamas' own "Pictures from the Train" (a strong up-tempo song). This makes "The Loner" a really diverse album.

Some may say that Tamas ought to compose more of his own stuff, that he shouldn't spend his energy doing covers. But there is no denying Tamas' incredible playing skill, and more often than not he gives the covers a little twist of his own. A fine album, well produced, with excellent performances by Tibor Varga on keyboards and Ferenc Debreczeni on drums as well.



Written November 1998


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