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  • Writer's pictureLuke Wolk

Five Star Review of Grant Ferguson's album "Windswept Isle" from Roots Music!

Grant Ferguson lights up the jazz-rock guitar world with his sixth solo album, Windswept Isle, released in mid-2022. The 6-track, 25-minute CD features Grant’s powerful electric guitar originals recorded in the studio with a number of gifted musicians including album producer Todd Rogers (keyboards), Mike Zerbe (drums), John Keebler (bass), and David Kempers (fiddle), while vocalist Mary Ann Kennedy sings traditional Scottish Gaelic lyrics on the lead-off title track, giving it a kind of progressive, instrumental fusion twist. Production by album keyboardist Todd Rogers is first-rate while string arrangements by Landon Ashby adds further depth to the sound. The electrifying fusion music of Scotland-born, Montana-based guitarist Grant Ferguson features a comprehensive range of jazz-rock sounds that will clearly find a home among fans of fretboard heroes such as Jeff Beck, Steve Morse and Joe Satriani.

Grant is currently touring around Montana with his group called Modern Rock Orchestra. A standout fact of the MRO is that Grant complements the sound with orchestral arrangements by a full string section featuring several local Montana symphony musicians, further adding to his already dynamic instrumental fusion sound. Grant claims that bringing in more traditional instruments to his electric fusion sound expands his audience, adding that “The idea of playing rock music with an orchestra isn’t new, but the music certainly is, hence the name,” with Grant also stating “So much orchestral rock features classic rock music which, while amazing, is essentially 40- or 50-year-old music. With MRO, we’ve merged genres in way that is fresh and captivating for audiences of all musical tastes.” Recorded in Red Lodge, Montana, Las Vegas and Scotland, the six-track, 25-minute Windswept Isle may be concise on time but it’s never short on impressive melodic ideas and fleet-fingered guitar expertise. Since 2011, Grant has released a number of albums under his own name and in addition to the above mentioned guitar influences, you can also add in the influence of the late, great, soulful blues-rock guitarist Gary Moore and in fact, Grant recorded a version of the late guitarist’s tune, “The Loner”, which he covered on his 2011 debut album Decay & Devotion. Listeners of progressive, instrumental jazz-rock fusion and all things guitar should give a listen to Grant Ferguson’s excellent Windswept Isle.

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