San Diego’s Mike Slayen crowdfunded his latest album, titled DUDE: A Guitar CD. I think Mike was born with the perfect name; after all, he’s just slayin’ it on this album.
The format is laid back acoustic instrumentals. Upon first track “Chill”, you’ll be hooked immediately. Slayen’s writing on DUDE is consistently memorable. The arrangements have just enough meat — bass, drums/percussion and occasional keys back up the main guitar melodies. The key element to each song is the lead melody. Similar to fellows like Joe Satriani, Mike writes catchy guitar melodies to take the focus. Each track is memorable for that reason.
The musicianship and recording is immaculate. The warm atmosphere is inviting for return listens. DUDE is a perfect CD for chilling and relaxing and it’ll work particularly well on the porch during summer. Mike explores different tempos, and demonstrates an intimate knowledge of the acoustic guitar with his intricate picking. Yes intricate at times, but never anything less than enjoyable. DUDE is a guitar CD but not necessarily for guitarists. DUDE is just a good CD to have for folks who enjoy relaxing and memorable music.
Check out songs such as “The Secret”, “Ice Cream” and “Chill” for a taste of what Mike Slayen does on DUDE. There are exotic and latin influences along the way, and enough variety to make the CD an easy one to listen through. There is even one fairly heavy piece — heavy for acoustic anyway — which is the title track “Dude”.
Go to MikeSlayen.com and check out DUDE. Discerning fans of instrumental guitar music are unlikely to be disappointed.
Full disclosure: I first “met” Mike Slayen as a reader on this site. I believe that this review is impartial and I would have given DUDE the same score even if I didn’t know Mike.