"Go" (SPV / Inside Out / Urban Music; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Daryl Stuermer is primarily known as the touring guitarist for Genesis and Phil Collins. Stuermer has also performed internationally with jazz great Jean-Luc Ponty. “Go” is Stuermer’s ninth solo disc – which of course begs the question “Stuermer has eight previous solo albums?!” It turns out that despite Stuermer’s connection to Genesis/Collins that his eight previous albums were only distributed in North America. With “Go,” Stuermer gets the benefit of having a record that is internationally distributed from the start.

“Go” is an instrumental album – which is in line with his previous solo efforts. Stuermer is known more for his jazz-like style rather than his mass consumption rock-oriented role with Genesis and Phil Collins. However, “Go” features a sound that is far more comfortable with rock guitar than jazz. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the sound on “Go” incorporates elements of fusion and forward-thinking instrumental styles. 

Bold strokes of color permeate “Go.” And by color I mean melody. Melody is king – and that’s a good thing. “Greenlight” and “Breaking Point” are reminiscent of Eric Johnson’s command of melody and tone – that’s no mean feat. “Dream in Blue” features very fluid playing which lends itself to the fact that it sounds like a ballad – but it is really just a slowly paced mellow track whereby Stuermer sounds more like a horn player than a guitarist. Heavier tracks like “The Archer” show how Stuermer can really cut through with an authoritative statement.

The keyboards on every track allow for great diversity in sound and style which further emphasizes Stuermer’s palette of sounds. The bass is intriguing and probably more jazz oriented than the guitar lines. The drums are hardly noticeable – which is also nice touch because it usually means that the drummer isn’t overplaying.

One of the interesting observations I had was that Stuermer knows hold to hold the last note of a melody without overplaying it. Stuermer’s sound is consistent and tight throughout the ten tracks on “Go.” Yet, each song has a distinction all it’s own.

“Go” is pleasant and engaging – it’s the kind of record that is a toe-tapping experience without being too much of a heart racer. And that’s just fine; “Go” is rewarding all the way around.

“Go” was produced by Daryl Stuermer.

Daryl Stuermer is joined by Kostia on keyboards, Leland Skar on bass, Eric Hervey on bass, and John Calarco on drums.

For more information visit http://www.darylstuermer.com/

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:21 -0400.