"Warmth in the Wilderness: A Tribute to Jason Becker" (Lion; 2001)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

This two-disc set is a must-have in any guitar fan's collection for a couple of reasons:

1) The artists who appear hereon are like a partial who's-who of the greatest guitar players in the world;

2) All proceeds for the CD go to the family of Jason Becker, a kick-ass guitarist himself, who has been battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, since he was diagnosed back in 1989.

There's really not much I can say about this CD that isn't said by the tracklisting (posted below). With guitarists ranging from the legendary Vinnie Moore, Paul Nelson and Jeff Pilson and Marty Friedman to newer names such as the incredible Torben Enevoldsen, "Warmth in the Wilderness" has a little something for every guitar fan - be it hard-rocking vocal tunes (such as the first track, "A Little Ain't Enough," a dead-on cover of the David Lee Roth tune) or jazzy little blues numbers (such as "Jasin Street," based on a tune originally written by Louis Armstrong). Most of the tracks are covers of songs that Becker himself wrote, either individually or with others like David Lee Roth, but all of the tracks are impressive and that says a lot when you've got a double-CD set running almost 160 minutes.

Even without the great cause behind it, "Warmth in the Wilderness" is an incredible, one-of-a-kind collection of guitar virtuosos in action. 

A second, 2-disc collection was released in 2002 and is also available.

CD 1
Stormwind – A little Ain’t Enough 
Torben Enevoldsen – Altitudes 
Ron Keel’s Iron Horse featuring Robert Marcello – Eleven Blue Egyptians 
Cosmosquad feat. Jeff Kollman, Vinnie Moore, Chris Poland, Jeff Watson, Steve Morse - Jam for Jason 
David Martone – Higher 
PUA feat. Carina Alfie & Linda McDonald of Phantom Blue – Becker Ola 
Rolf Munkes’ Empire – Dogtown Shuffle 
Evolution – Go Off 
Mark Boals & Lars Eric Mattsson – Hammerhead Shark 
Hit The Ground Runnin’ – Jasin Street 
Tony Baena – If You Have to Shoot… 
Josephine of Phantom Blue – Baby’s on Fire 
Jeff Scheetz – Sensible Shoes 
Cyril Achard – ESP 
Phi Ansari Yaan-Zek & Lale Larson – Air 

CD 2. 
Project Alcazar – Opus Pocus 
Eric Sands with David Ragsdale – Mandy’s Little Throbbing Heart 
Paul Nelson – Blue 
May Lian – It’s Showtime 
Jeff Pilson – Becker’s Bolero 
Mattias IA Eklund – Lydia’s House 
All the Usual Suspects – Drop in the Bucket 
Rob Johnson – Forcefield 
Mistheria with Rick Renstrom – Urmila 
Marty Friedman – Black Stallion Jam 
Paul Gilbert – Hawking 
Anders Johansson – Primal 
Eric Zimmermann – Rain 
Mike Campese – Concerto 
Lars Eric Mattsson, Alex Masi, Pamme, Robin McAuley- Tell the Truth 
Torben Enevoldsen, James Byrd, Patrick Rondat, Roh Thal, Mike Chlasciak, Sami Asp, Lars Eric Mattsson – Outro Jam 

For more information, check out

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 © 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Oct 2018 19:54:49 -0400.