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on June 18, 2004
One of the really fun things about Major impacts 1& 2 is seeing your guitar hero as a 'fan' .. seeing him as a guy who is humble enough to look at someone else's innovation and talent, and recognise it as such; to be able to picture him at the front of a gig doing all the stupid things we all do when the mood takes us.
Steve Morse is humble enough to make more than a passing nod to his influences. Major Impacts is not "Oh, I listened to a great deal of 'Howling Racket' when I was younger" and the implication being, "and of course I have left them far behind in the phosphorescent wake of my own talent". With Steve, we have someone who pays true homage to his heroes and influences, and not just lip service in order to win 'brownie points'.
The style of this album, as is noted elsewhere, is very much unresearched ... it seems to come over without a plan .. a bit like our own record collections and memories, and is all the better and fresher for it.
As for the music, from the first bars of Wooden Music, it was clear that Steve has put more energy and an even higher level of compositional skill into this second batch of influences. There are only a few moments of "typical Morse", and that, to me, is a REAL bonus ... let me explain.
The problem with instrumentalists and instrumentals is that over the course of 15 or so albums, the repeating of any phrases, tones and chords sequences is going to be noticable .. much more so than in a song, where words and lyrics take the place of the solo instrument. Whilst Steve has created more diversity and innovation in his music than most other players out there today, over 15 or so albums, there is always a tendancy to say "oh, that is the same phrase as "Marco Polo" or " thats the same riff from "Battle Lines"
Not so with this record, and HUGE credit to Steve for that ...
If anyone has a rack full of Steve Morse records ( going back to the brilliance of "What If" ) and has any sort of sympathy with the feeling, "Well, I have 15 Dregs/Morse records, perhaps I can give this one a miss" ... DON'T.
From Bach ( sheer brilliance ) to the Bayou, this record is fresh, energetic, exciting and represents just about the pinnacle of Steve's innovation and writing skills.
I would love to meet this guy .. my true 'hero' and an inspiration. Thanks for putting the effort into becoming this brilliant at what you do.
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on May 14, 2004
I've been a fan of Steve Morse since 1978, when I first hear the Dixie Dregs' "What If" on a 8-track my cousin had. This guy is absolulely amazing. "Major Impacts 2" is no exception to his tradition of musical excellence. The Hammond B3 patches on "Organically Grown", the CSN vibe on "Wooden Music", I could go on and on but he captures everything he attempts perfectly. Yeah, he's a monster guitarist, one of the best electric guitarists ever, but he also is an excellent composer. Listen to the interplay of instruments on his records versus some of the other "shred" guys. Oh, they can play fast, but few, if any, musicians who just happen to play guitar can touch Steve Morse.
Do yourself a favor. Buy this CD, turn your stereo to "11" and prepared to be amazed!!!
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on April 2, 2004
Steve can do anything. It really comes down to this. Other guitar greats are so awesome...yet stay within a specific range of compositional styles and technical ability. Steve not only can play any style, and with each style exhibiting perfection, but his compositional skills are stunning. Who can undertake such a project TWICE???!!! Write original music in the style of that artist that influenced you, and retain your individual extraordinary ability within that style? Wow. On the first cut....promise yourself something....on a sunny day...take a drive with a sense of freedom...and play 'Wooden Music'. It will infuse your soul with sunlight and hope...and prepare you for the incredible songs ahead on this CD.
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on July 14, 2013
Have fun, don't read the liner notes and just pop the CD in to play and try to guess the group that SM is imitating. Most are really easy and all are well-done!

Highly recommended for the talent and the fun!
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on August 26, 2011
I have all Steve Morse CD's, there are some that have a different flavor but some that you can't help but to love. This is another one that I play over and over and never get tired of it. Buy it you should love it..
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on March 8, 2004
Guitar virtuoso Steve Morse's newest release 'Major Impacts 2' is a continuation of recordings of many of his musical influences. He picks up where he left off with his last solo release 'Major Impacts'.
This time around, it ranges from Crosby, Stills & Nash to Lynard Skynard, from the Who to Genesis. It's not covers of any of the songs of the bands mentioned. He records new songs he wrote in their musical style.
Just by listening to each song you can easily pick up on the bands he's emulating.
He even pays tribute to Bach with 'Air on a Six String'.
It's a truly remarkable disc with truly remarkable playing.
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on April 16, 2004
I've been a SM fan since 1980. I've got everything he's done including (what I consider to be)the ill-fated Kansas stuff. So, like any fanatic, I've got to get the latest. And this is the GREATEST! The subtlety and strength is amazing. I'm a keyboard guy green with envy. Not to mention that Steve covers most of my main influences. Steve, artistry in the age of Britney is not rewarded other that by my abject praise. Keep it up. History, if not the market, will reward you.
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on December 11, 2011
More of the same...and if something is wonderful, more of the same is nice. I absolutely loved the fist "Major Impacts" CD but I was late to this party. If the first Major Impacts CD left you yearning for more, Major Impacts 2 will satisfy some of that desire (I'm hoping for a "Major Impacts 3". How `bout it Mr. Morse?). When Steve Morse tackles a song in the style of (insert favorite artist here), he NAILS it...and then some. The tributes on this CD are to: CSN&Y, ZZ Top, Bach, The Who, Genesis, ELP (with keyboards, of course), Lynyrd Skynyrd and a real rocker with a tip o' the hat to Aerosmith. The songs on this CD are well thought out and diverse; running the gambit from mellow to hard rock. If you're looking for amazing instrumental music played by an extraordinarily talented musician, look no further. The music on this CD is, in one word, exquisite.
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on September 5, 2005
Even if you're not a rock fan, this album is a really good asset to almost any collection. I think this is especially enjoyable for guitar players who can appreciate the brilliant playing involved.

I can't pick favorites but I really love Air on a 6 String. It's a guitar solo in the style of Bach and you can tell. I printed out a tab to this and it's a lot of fun to play and a lot of fun to hear. You can even play it for your grandma.

I even really like the Tri County Barn Dance, and I hate country and I'm not a fan of blue grass.

The track called "Where Are You" is one that really sticks out to me as being one that he really hit the nail on the head as far as trying to sound like a band. That sounds like the lost Who song to me.

I'm going by memory here because I don't have the cd with me but another I remember thinking was great was "Motor City Spirit," impacted by Nugent, Deep Purple, and Spirit. Even before I read the sleeve on the inside, I recognized that lead as a tribute to Ritchie Blackmore playing Highway Star. The guitar solo on Highway star wasn't that impressive to me but I don't think Blackmore is that good. But Steve made the style awesome.

Just an over all great album. I can really relax to the slow songs and drum my desk to the hard rock ones. Just buy this album and listen to it any time you want.
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on March 4, 2004
Deep Purples Steve Morse has always found time for outside projects. Free from the constraints of Purple, Morse expresses himself to the max. While this CD could have been a simple cover disc, Morse instead opted to open the signature files of various artists ranging from Bach to the Yardbirds and forges an album of original tunes in the likeness of the artists selected. At times the artist selected and emulated will be rather obvious to the listener while other times not. For example, "Where Are You", inspired by the Who sounds nothing like the Who. But simply comparing the songs with the influence misses the point of the CD. What should be taken from this disc is admiration for Morse's versatility and recognition that Morse can master the most difficult riff without regard to a particular genre. While the styles cover a lot of ground, this CD is excellent.
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