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.