The act of alternating or trading eight bar phrases with
another soloist while improvising. With guest
soloists: Joe Bonamassa, Rick Vito, Scott Henderson, Steve Morse,
Robben Ford, Jim Cox, Albert Lee
Every once in a while an artist has an opportunity and a privilege to work
with many of his peers on a project. Such is the case on the latest
release from the Carl Verheyen Band, Trading 8s. One could only
imagine the joy and creative fun that Carl must have had in making this
CD. Actually in the linear notes Carl states, “I sincerely hope
you enjoy this music as much as we did making it.”
I’ve gotten to know Carl over the past couple of years through his audio
interviews and columns with GuitarJamDaily.com. I have always been
blessed by his music and who he is as a human being. So when Carl
told me that he was working on a new project I was really excited about
The CD starts out with a track named, Highway 27. This features Carl and
Joe Bonamassa playing intricate melody lines and trading runs with the
utmost fury. Both of these guys possess sweet liquid guitar tones.
The song kind of reminded me of a Jeff Beck meets Steve Morse type thing.
It’s kind of funny because Steve Morse happens to appear on this project
as well, playing on a tune entitled, On Our Way. This track can best
be described as a beautiful bluesy ballad with some rich musical textures.
I really dug the Steve Morse signature modal pattern runs.
Another tune that caught my ear is a Carl’s version of the old Beatles
song TaxMan. The arrangement and production are exceptional on this one.
There is an interesting contrast of styles between Carl and Fusion master
Scott Henderson. This track contains some of my favorite intense
guitar ripping from Carl. A little further along is the cut, New
Year’s Day. This one has a great groove with tasteful ideas from
Mr. Verheyen and Blues tone wizard Robben Ford. There is some
serious tone flying out of the speakers from both of these guys.
Ford fans will really love this one because it has some hints from his old
school playing. Also on the CD is a track named, Country Girl.
This song contains great vocals by Carl and a really tight rhythm section.
The infamous Albert Lee injects his tone and fast country-style runs in a
way that only he could do.
There are a few other tunes on Trading 8s that do not feature any of the
guest artists. So, Carl and his band including, Dave Marotta on bass, and
Walfredo Reyes Jr. on drums are really showcased. Actually, from a
compositional standpoint and for overall production value these tunes were
my favorites, especially Eastern Steppes.
Trading 8s is a wonderful CD that will appeal to many different guitar
fans. Carl’s ability to craft songs and adapt his playing with these
many artists is most astounding. Do yourself a favor...if you love great
guitar playing go buy this CD.
Review By HCarlH (Jacksonville, FL)
If you're worried that having guest guitarists would transform this album into a shredfest with little regard to the music, think again. All of the musicians are playing tasty licks to complement the tunes and also bring out the best in Carl's playing.
Carl is a master guitar player and musician. He not only plays well, he has great TONE and feel. A must for those who appreciate quality music.
Another benefit...the CD is NOT over compressed like a lot of today's CDs.
It sounds great!
Review By J. D. : - ) "The Music Guy" (Midwest)
Turn up the volume and get ready to enjoy a must have album for your music collection. Carl Verheyen has assembled an all star cast for this guitar blazing CD. Tremendous vocals and guitar artistry make "Trading 8's" sound like a greatest hits package. Yes, it's that awesome! Each and every song is without a doubt a gem. Song one "Highway 27" starts with the sounds of a Les Paul '61 Stratocaster, '66 Rickenbacker twelve string guitar and more. I hope to see this album up for a Grammy award, it's that good! Buy this sensational CD today and you won't be disappointed.
1 Highway 27
3 On Our Way
4 Constant as the Wind
5 Higher Ground
6 New Year's Day
7 Henry's Farm
8 Henry's Farm (Part 2)
9 Country Girl
10 Eastern Steppes
Carl Verheyen is a major presence on the guitar. Growing up in Pasadena in Southern California, he began a lifelong study of the instrument at age 10. Even in his early teens Carl practiced guitar every day, a tradition that continues to this day. Four or five rock bands down the road, he decided to pursue his musical education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Although his formal training was to last less than a year, the experience proved invaluable, broadening Carl’s musical influences and introducing him to jazz , blues, classical and country music.
While living near the University of Massachusetts, Carl got the opportunity to work with the innovative jazz drummer, Max Roach. After a brief taste of the road, he returned to the Los Angeles area and began leading his own group, which included bassists John Patitucci and Dave Marotta and drummers Chad Wackerman and John Ferraro.
Early in the 1980s, Carl was also a sideman in many groups, including the Victor Feldman Generation Band and keyboardist Dan Siegel’s group. He played on five of Siegel’s records and was the most prolific songwriting contributor to the first three Richard Elliott records (especially Trolltown, which contains five of Carl’s songs, and Initial Approach which contains the Verheyen penned hit “Gretchen’s Theme”). He also worked live with the saxophonist for five years. Carl recorded with and played live with Robben Ford, and early in his studio career he recorded with Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin and Little Richard. Soon he was getting called to work on many pop records including Tiffany’s multi-platinum selling debut. He performed live with jazz saxophonists Joe Farrell and Ronnie Laws, and over the years worked with singers Carl Anderson, Christina Aguilera, Melissa Manchester, Miley
Cyrus, Leanne Rimes, Michael Damian, and Glenn Frey from the Eagles. He played on the Tonight Show with country music artists Tom Wopat and Shelby Lynn, and recorded a movie soundtrack with Dolly Parton and a few records with Cher.
In 1985, Carl became lead guitarist for the British rock group Supertramp, replacing the departing guitarist Roger Hodgson. The band played stadium shows all across the U.S. and Canada. In 1986 the group toured Europe, selling out huge arenas in eight countries. This tour finished with a command performance for Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
After those tours, Carl slipped into the enviable position of being one of L.A’s first call studio guitarists. He has played on over 200 different television shows as far back as “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley” and including every episode of the hit series “Cheers.” Soon Carl’s CD collection became full of the movie soundtracks he was doing like “Stand and Deliver,” “Moscow on the Hudson,” “L.A. Story,” “Dusk ‘til Dawn,” “Mr. Wrong” and the soundtrack Oscar winner “The Milagro Beanfield Wars.” Recently Carl was a featured soloist on the Pixar films “Ratatouille” and “Up,” as well as “Speed Racer” and “Star Trek: Corporate Headquarters.” You can hear his guitar on many episodes of “Lost,” “Scrubs” and “Samantha Who?” Due to the anonymous nature of studio work, not a day goes by when you don’t hear Carl on one thing or another: in the movie theaters, on TV, or over the radio.
But studio work alone wasn’t enough for this artistic soloist. In 1988 Carl released his first album entitled No Borders, featuring Dave Marotta and John Ferraro. Over the years it has obtained “cult classic” status and still sells consistently, in part due to the unique collaboration with guitarist Allan Holdsworth.
In January of 1992, Carl’s recording of the pyrotechnic guitar display of “The Big Shuffle” was included in a compilation CD entitled “Guitar on the Edge”. This underground recording of hot new guitarists eventually gained cult status. Two more editions (volumes 3 and 5) were subsequently released containing some of Carl’s bootlegged live performances.
Later in 1992 Carl was asked to make a video for REH/Warner Bros. Titled “Intervallic Rock Guitar,” this advanced instructional primer has had guitarists working on Carl’s ideas and techniques for many years. It is now available in DVD format and continues to sell constantly. In early 1993 an innovative computer-guitar educational interface company called G-Vox commissioned Carl to write three interactive libraries along with Steve Morse and Adrian Legg. This forerunner in the high tech world of interactive computer guitar lessons provided more insight into the Verheyen style.
In May of 1994, Carl’s second CD Garage Sale was released to very positive reviews and critical acclaim. Before long Carl became internationally known as a unique improvising voice on the scene. Guitar magazines began asking him to detail his innovative style.
Quite a departure from the typical guitar sound, it interests people all over the world, from Japan to Finland to South Africa.