Incredible Strange Sounds of Mr. Smith[CD]
BIOGRAPHY Martin Schmidt was born in 1970. He started playing guitar at the age of twelve, taking classical lessons in a music school near his hometown. By the age of 15 he moved on to the electric guitar. He founded his first band in 1987, playing punk rock. His ambitions became more serious, so in 1991 he started studying jazz at the FMW (Frankfurter Musikwerkstatt), a well known German jazz school. He made his degree in 1996 and has been a professional musician ever since. Besides playing gigs all over Germany with the bands THE RAZORBLADES, MARTIN SCHMIDT BAND and DR. BLUES & THE HIP REPLACEMENTS, he teaches guitar, harmony and ensemble playing at different music schools. He´s also a writer for German and international music magazines like SOUNDCHECK, PIPELINE, BANZAI, BLUES NEWS and VINTAGE GUITAR NEWS. DISCOGRAPHY 1999 MARTIN SCHMIDT 'The Blues & Some Other Stuff' CD 2000 DR. BLUES & THE HIP REPLACEMENTS 'The Return of Dr. Blues' CD 2002 MARTIN SCHMIDT 'The Incredible Strange Sounds of Mr. Smith' CD 2003 THE RAZORBLADES 'Get Cut By The Razorblades' CD THE BAND & THE MUSIC Martin Schmidt started his own instrumental band in 1996. At the moment he´s playing with Christoph Herder (bass) and Marko Klotz (drums). Today, most instrumental bands lean towards jazz and fusion, but Martin Schmidt goes in a totally different direction. His music is a mix of Surf, Blues, Rock, Country and Soundtrack elements. He´s influenced by musicians like Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, Jeff Beck, Dick Dale, Ennio Morricone and new American instrobands like Slacktone or The Mermen. On 'The INCREDIBLE STRANGE SOUNDS OF MR. SMITH', his latest CD, you can hear 16 songs out of Martins´musical cosmos. Guitar sounds between Twang, Noise & Blues. From dirty bluesrockers ('I Wanna Be Evil'), to surfsongs ('The Haunted Beach') and soundtrack melodies to films that have never been ('Pumpgun'), there´s everything the instrumental music lover needs. Enjoy it!!!!!!!!! EQUIPMENT Martin Schmidt uses 70s Fender stratocasters, a Blackface Fender Deluxe and Pro Reverb, an early 70s, non master volume Marshall Top and vintage Stompboxes like an Ibanez Tube Screamer and a Vox Wah. He also likes Fulltone effects, like the Fulldrive 2, the Deja Vibe and the Ultimate Octave. One of the key elements to his sound is a Fender Tube Reverb ´63 reissue that´s featured heavily on the surftracks. Phil Dirt REVERB CENTRAL 05/02 'The Incredible Strange Sounds of Mr. Smith Label: Martin Schmidt CD In some ways, this is a very diverse CD, yet it has a continuity about it. Some fine modern adventurous surf, some larger than life progressive blues rock, and a few other sounds for good measure. The surf tracks are worth the price of admission. They are a long way from trad, but sure do sound right. Picks: Red Sun, Killer Surf Attack, Highway, Long Haired Country Boy, Hurricane, Tornado, El Gringo, The Haunted Beach Red Sun' Big splash, like you might expect from a long sunset glimpse on forbidding soil. Slide, reverb, rich bent chords... 'Red Sun' is a spectacular gaze at long monster waves as the daylight fades. Stunning guitar. Slight hints of Mick Abrahms (Blodwyn Pig) slither through the orange skies. Surf Instrumental Stereo 'Pumpgun' Big wah wah and cool drums. Intense and powerful. Rock Instrumental Stereo 'Killer Surf Attack' Aquatic surges of whammy chords and a very surfable melody line over interesting drums bumping out a tuff beat. A glissando or two and it's all set for the big surf. A fine and adventurous track! Surf Instrumental Stereo 'I Wanna Be Evil' Big and tuff boogie, rockin' and stompin' in the bar. Quite heavy and thumpy. Boogie Rock Instrumental Stereo 'Highway' Slithering slide guitar opens the road up like a liquid white line fever. It reminds be somewhat of the very cool Chris Darrow - Max Buda 'Eye Of The Storm' album on Takoma. Silky and aquatic. Slide Surf Instrumental Stereo 'Black Moon' Intense guitar, grumbling bass, and slow drums plunder the calm. Quite large. Rock Instrumental Stereo 'Long Haired Country Boy' Demented cowboy twang, reverb and slide guitar, rompin' in Buck Owens' field. 'Long Haired Country Boy' is a mighty cool track, with an infectious gate and slithery sound. Cowboy Slide Surf Instrumental Stereo 'Junkfood' 'Junkfood' is kinda jazzy in an almost Nice gets the power treatment kinda way. Like something adjacent to Emerson, Lake and Palmer, but maybe more bluesy like Steamhammer or Nectar. Rock Instrumental Stereo 'Hurricane' Surf 'n' splash reverb, a sorta spy melody line, and a catchy riff, combined to create a different take on surf. Very cool track. Surf Instrumental Stereo 'Tornado' Surf chords whammified, sub spy surf melody, and a solid beat. Quite smooth and rich, with a catchy line. 'Tornado' is a solid modern surf adventure. Surf Instrumental Stereo 'Fat Cat' Tweaky and playful, 'Fat Cat' bumps and rides a Zappa-esq guitar line to an afternoon strangeness. Rock Instrumental Stereo 'The Sad Little Girl' Haunting and melancholy, 'The Sad Little Girl' is dramatic and maybe a little heavy. Rock Instrumental Stereo 'El Gringo' 'El Gringo' presents a cowboy's ride through the cactus, where the twang's the thang. Lots of changes, with vibrato, fuzz, twang, and an infectious beat. Very cool track. Cowboy Surf Instrumental Stereo 'The Haunted Beach' A round riff tells of longboard mishaps just off the rocks. Adventurous and glissandoed, with tribal tom toms and reverb richly applied. Surf Instrumental Stereo 'Space Blues' Phased electric blues powered and tweaked. A little too tweaky maybe, yet strangely attractive and disquieting. Rock Blues Instrumental Stereo 'The Big Sleep' Big Ben-ish notes open this soft sorta Hendrixian melody. 'The Big Sleep' is a slow and soft salute to the great divide. It eventually soars in a modern rock style. Rock Instrumental Stereo Instrumental Rock´n Roll 05/02 Martin Schmidt THE INCREDIBLE STRANGE SOUNDS OF MR. SMITH One thing I value in a CD is variety...a lot of instro bands, and especially surf bands, will put out a CD with 12 or so tracks that all have the same sound and instrumentation. Not so ace guitarist Mr. Schmidt/Smith -- you'll find among the 16 tracks on his new album some psychedelia, a little hard rock, some reverberating surf tracks, and even some country tunes. The surf tunes have the trad surf sound down pat - now wonder Martin is starting a surf band. One of my favorite tracks, Long Haired Country Boy, is a country rocker par excellence. Martin's exceptional band knows how to set down any kind of groove, and they let rip with a couple of great solos, too. I highly recommend this CD to any instro fan. NEW GANDY DANCER 64 (05/02) Martin is a profesional guitarist from Germany, making a living playing with different bands and teaching guitar, harmony and ensemble playing at different music schools. Fender player Martin began guitar at age 12 and has played in most forms of music.The styleof music is something among Surf, Rock, Blues, Country and Soundtrack. Very talented player on originals that mean something. The versality is almost overwhelming- the neat touches of keyboards from Thilo Zetzmann and Stepühan Kraus embellish the guitar playing beautifully. Bass from Christoph Herder is tasteful and the Jens Biehl/ Marko Klotz drumming drives things along but pulls back to be supportive where necessary. Good choice of band members for the two Cds.There´s a touch of Satriani on cuts like Jimi´s Lullaby even though it´s title reflects an an entirely different guitar player. Cruel World is almost painfully, teasingly sensitive -gorgeous. Pumpgun sounds like a heavy version of a 60s TV theme while Killer Surf Attack, Tornado and Hurricane are a tribute to todays´s younger USA surf bands. Fine albums both. PIPELINE 56 /Juli 2002 'The Incredible Strange Sounds Of Mr. Smith' Martin Schmidt started his first band in 1987, formed his first instrumental outfit in 1996 and has the albums The Blues & Some Other Stuff (Pipeline 54) and The Return Of Dr. Blues under his belt. There are some bluesy tracks on this set too, but overall it represents an amazing cross-section of rock instrumental styles. Martin has been a professional musician since gaining his degree from the Frankfurt Musikwerkstatt in 1996 so, unsurprisingly, his playing is of the highest order. The expansive and descriptive bottleneck intro track Red Sun leads into a fuzz and wah-wah extravaganza on Pumpgun. At just a couple of minutes long there´s no chance of boredom setting in and we move swiftly into the modern surf rock of Killer Surf Attack. In similar style we later get Hurricane, Tornado and The Haunted Beach. Meanwhile I Wana Be Evil takes us down a modern blues boogie route, Highway features a flowing, rich slide lead over a background of organ and Black Moon is a modern guitar ballad heavy on sustain and volume pedal. There´s a lighter atmosphere about Long Haired Country Boy which is in danger of giving country rock a good name and has a touch of The Allmans about it. El Gringo has a rockabily beat and a spag-west flavour. Hammond provides the interest in the extended blues rock solo that is Junkfood, Fat Cat being a longer, more funky workout with less direction. Space Blues represents the presentable side of heavy rock guitar music, the riffs not being too grungy and the lead not taken OTT. The Big Sleep builds from slow ballad to fret-melting guitar showcase as a finale. This is a fine album of modern guitar. It´s all original, yet all familiar and certainly most enjoyable.
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