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AUGUST 2013:

Instrumental Album 'The Music Room' was started on June 11th 2011. While testing out the POD HD in Birmingham's 'Guitar Guitar' shop I happened upon a melody inspired by the combination of a wonderful evening the previous night and one of the POD's settings. I made sure to remember the melody and as soon as I got home with the new POD, I dialed in that setting and began recording. That first idea became the song 'Franabelle'.
More and more ideas flowed and I soon realised I had started a wonderful journey.
By November I had ten songs written and recorded. The most prolific I have ever been. I felt like all my life's experiences were pouring out of me into music. Melodies sprung up out of nowhere, I could hear bass lines and drum patterns for new songs and I'm playing phrases and chords that I've never played before.
The album has 15 tracks with various themes and moods, with a running time of 53 minutes is available now on iTunes and Amazon MP3.

Links to online stores and the album Facebook page.
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THE ALBUM musicroom
01. Bob the Builder
02. Jumping Ship
03. You Talkin' to Me?
04. Three Years into Forever
05. On the Edge
06. How YOU Doin'?
07. Franabelle
08. Waiting
09. A New Hope
10. Secret Hero
11. Lost and Found
12. Lock Up
13. Slipping Away
14. The Last Kiss
15. MissingYou



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If anyone would like a hard copy CD, please get in touch;-) CD's are £7.99 + P&P

REVIEWS

Review by Paul H Birch

Des Sherwood is one of our own, a Midlands man, from Halesowen to be exact, where he teaches would-be guitar heroes the tricks of their potential trade. That he himself has received a thumbs-up from Ozzy Osbourne infers this instrumental album is worth a listen. However, don’t presume all-out hyper-speed fretboard kneetrembler extravaganzas. Instead, put yourself in mind of a cruising Satriani given a slight British swagger over a series of self-penned non-too long songs all with a lyrical lead line; the titles of which appropriate the emotions wrought out over them. That stated, ‘Bob the Builder’ has nothing to do with the kid’s TV show but does affect a suitably animated industrialised busy-bee feel as opening chords clock in like a punch-card before a searing melody guitar ensues with stacked harmony variation choruses played loudly and repeated enough for you to be whistling along until it suddenly speeds up, frothing in upbeat enthusiasm, as Sherwood shreds sweetly.

If you’re part of a courting rock couple looking for a moonlight sonata on some sun-kissed beach play ‘Jumping Ship’ or ‘Secret Hero’. More up-tempo numbers come with added movie and TV referenced titles and spoken phrases akin to Jeff Beck’s Guitar Workshop period: ‘How You Doin?’ being a real rinky-dinky shuffle with lots of fun runs while ‘You Talkin’ To Me’ is tasty jazz rock but cries out for a keyboard player to confront the guitar lines more forcefully as the supporting instrumentation, sounding programmed, tends towards polite precision.

‘Three Years Into Forever’ opens thoughtfully in classical acoustic mode, then moves between a questioning electrified Jan Akkerman approach and a Beck-plays-Marvin bottleneck exchange with a lovely tender pinching squeal to some of the notes before heavily thrashed chords belt out and the main theme returns with harmonised guitars. ‘On the Edge’ bears an air of mystery, similarly taking musical detours with unexpected turns of precise phrasing as the whammy bar is held taught. The uncharacteristic ‘Franbelle’ is middle-of-the-road country, albeit catchy, and a clutch of the songs are pleasant but not as memorable, whereas ‘Slipping Away’ has great piercing anguished singing guitars over a new age Ibiza chill-out sound that screams for a big live production, then moves into a series of bubbly Mark Knopfler-styled phrases before guitars en masse serenade the song towards its climax.

Thematically, The Music Room is a courtship of melodies with the titles of the last two tunes reading as the end of an affair lingering with only good memories. As an album it’s more than just incidental mood music with some excellent tunes played emotionally using rock craftsmanship to pull off those nuances, and while there are some you could argue end too abruptly, the very briefness of the acoustic ‘Missing You’ says all it needs beautifully.

Des Sherwood The Music Room: 7 out of 10. See the review here.

Des Sherwood – The Music Room review by Whitewolf for Metal Geeks.com
Pros: Strong, memorable themes and tasteful, melodic solos.
Cons: None... okay, *maybe* the programmed drums, because I couldn’t fault anything else!
Bottom line: Hooky, passionate and well-crafted guitar rock from a gifted player.
As a guitarist and musician, I love instrumental guitar albums that showcase the technical proficiency of an artist. (I’m dating myself here, but I grew up in the 1980s, an era when it was fashionable to play as fast as or faster than the next guy.) I listened to the founding fathers of the genre in the heyday of Shrapnel Records such as Vinnie Moore and Greg Howe to, of course, the titans of the instrument like Steve Vai and John Petrucci. While I still love these players, it’s always refreshing when an album comes along that makes me stop and really listen. And more than that, even love the playing on it. Such an album recently came into my attention via the West Midlands in the UK in the form of Des Sherwood and his debut offering, a collection of 15 instrumental tracks entitled “The Music Room”.
Des hails from a small town near Birmingham called Halesowen, a place where one can bump into rock royalty on occasion like Robert Plant and Tony Iommi. In fact, as a young lad learning to play guitar in the mid-1980s, he lived on the same street as Judas Priest’s Glenn Tipton. After cutting his teeth in several bands, he founded the Des Sherwood Guitar Tuition and began teaching full-time in 1997, after receiving a grant from the Prince’s Trust.
And Des’ talents certainly did not go unnoticed, even by a few rock icons. In 2005, after sending in a promo package directly to the man’s house, he was personally chosen by Ozzy Osbourne to replace Zakk Wylde when Zakk’s BLS schedule at the time did not allow him to fulfill his obligation to Ozzy. Sadly, that was off when Zakk ultimately came back. Two years later, Des would catch the ear of Kevin DuBrow, who became a major supporter of his, even personally suggesting him to Glenn Hughes for his new band. (Kevin was even going to fly Des out to Los Angeles for the audition). But when that fell through, he tapped Des to replace Alex Grossi in Quiet Riot on their upcoming UK tour, but sadly that all ended when Kevin passed away. Being such a Randy Rhoads fanatic, I know these would have been dream gigs for Des and I’m certain it’s still a wonderful tale for him to tell over a few pints at his local pub.
Recorded over two years in his home studio where he tracked virtually everything on the album himself, “The Music Room” really showcases Des’ “melody is king” approach to songwriting and playing over shredding your face off – although he probably could if he wanted to. The fact that he doesn’t is a testament to his musical abilities. His major influences are very apparent on this recording: Gary Moore, Joe Satriani, Randy Rhoads and a lesser known fellow Brit named Jan Cyrka. The album features some fine acoustic and classical playing and the song’s themes are strong and memorable. His solos are tasty, melodic and each one serves the song. Even the guitar tones he uses suit the album perfectly. The result is a nicely balanced album, great for listening anytime.
We begin with “Bob The Builder”. Named for one of his students, who also happens to be a builder (and who came up with the chord progression in the song), this track is a mid-tempo rocker with lots of groove. “Jumping Ship” takes things down a bit with its laid-back but memorable themes before things pick up again with the next track (and even Bobby DeNiro makes a cameo appearance on), “You Talkin’ To Me?” A driving track that pops all over.
Built on a beautiful melody that might bring one to tears (and actually did to a friend of mine) is “Three Years Into Forever”, one of the standout tracks of the album, and my personal favorite. Des uses harmony guitars to good effect on the themes and the solo is emotional and dreamy.
“On The Edge” is another medium tempo rocker with searing playing, while the token 12/8 shuffle of “How YOU Doin’?” sizzles and swaggers throughout.
“Do you want to play a game of tag?” says a pair of little girls, opening the uniquely titled “Franabelle”. Des came up with the main melody to this one while test-driving a Line 6 POD HD and that became the impetus for the album. A very wistful track.
“Waiting” and “A New Hope” are dynamic tracks filled with some nice solo work, before we take a bit of a breather with “Secret Hero”, with is lackadaisical, carefree build to its conclusion.
“Lost And Found” and “Lock Up” both feature some very nice themes and solo work. The former’s use of synth pads form a lush foundation for Des’ playing.
“Slipping Away” is another standout, with its snaky, almost elastic playing in the ‘verses’. Some very nice, bluesy soloing here as well.
The final tracks are a nice close to the album and both feature some great lines and melody. The first “The Last Kiss” constantly builds with tension to its abrupt conclusion before we hear the relaxed, thoughtful and pensive “Missing You”. A great coda to a great debut.
This was a real challenge to write. This is not your typical album review and, all told, “The Music Room” is not your typical instrumental guitar album and Des Sherwood is not your typical player. If you’re a fan of instrumental rock guitar, you really owe it to yourself to buy this album and give it a listen. I, for one, anxiously await what else his heart and mind put forth on his sophomore release. Cheers, Des!

 

'The Music Room' by Des Sherwood is a great collection of instrumental songs that covers a range of dynamic styles based in and around rock that won't ever leave you feeling like vocals are "missing" from the songs.
The solo and melodic guitar lines found among this 15 track album are super catchy and will definitely have you whistling along for days. (Beware… These songs WILL get stuck in your head)
Des has a very mature, melodic and dynamic approach to his guitar work that never seems to suit a "look at me shred" ego. Everything played on this record is extremely tasteful and seems to be there to suit the song and not go overboard… Except when needed!
Throughout the album we are offered great examples of laid back acoustic styled ballads to hard hitting rock songs and everything in between and while 'The Music Room' is definitely styled around old school instrumental rock there is enough production through use of subtle orchestral sections and quirky guitar effects to give the album a very professional and modern feel that is missed on some other guitar based instrumental offerings.

Daniel Waldmann, Silent Underground Studio

FROM AMAZON AND iTUNES

5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a masterpiece ... 28 Aug 2013
By Tom91
Format:MP3 Download|Amazon Verified Purchase
The music room is an album that is up there with the likes of Satriani's Surfing with the alien and Vai's Passion and warfare. Every song has brilliantly crafted melodies that ooze emotion. There is a perfect blend of upbeat, fast tempo tracks and mellow ballads. Songs like the last kiss, jumping ship and the slightly odd but interesting on the edge are proof that Sherwood is a creative genius. I very much hope there is going to be another album as it is very clear that Des has more in him.
This is a must listen for ANY guitar player and anyone who appreciates instrumental music.

5.0 out of 5 stars A must for any fans of instrumental guitar... 27 Aug 2013
By Oliver Davies
Format:MP3 Download
If, like me, you're a fan of guitarists such as Vai, Gilbert, and Satriani then you cannot fail to be impressed by Des Sherwood. Armed with a formidable technique and a strong sense of composition, Sherwood has produced a remarkably mature debut album that moves from soaring instrumental ballads to upbeat rock and the odd quirkier offering. I hope this album is a success so that we get to hear what he can do for an encore!

 

Awesome Rock Guitar Instrumental Album! November 4, 2013 By Fernando H. Ramirez
Having been brought up by instrumental guitar albums (Shrapnel releases of the 80s, Satriani, Vai, Johnson, and so forth) I quickly became a very discerning buyer. The truth is most of them are ... how shall I put it... boring. Sure there is usually some great shredding, but in the context of a great song... shredding all the time is like playing one note all of the time. It's not interesting, and it doesn't stand out. What makes shredding interesting is when it is used as a tool within the context of a great song. Des Sherwood's instrumental rock guitar album has this in spades.. Des is a very accomplished player. He can shred with the best of them, but he can also play melodically with the best of them. Not many can do that. When I hear him, I can see that he listened to the same players that I loved (Rhoads, Gary Moore) but he has assimilated what makes them great into his own unique voice. He doesn't sound like them, but instead has developed his own approach as to what made those players so phenomenal. He also plays with much conviction. On this release... his first solo release I believe... Sherwood has created 15 gems that are not shred fests... but a few of them have some really well placed shred episodes in the context of great songs. All of the songs are fun to listen to. They are especially fun to drive to. They are varied... some are ballads... some are fast rock songs... some are mid tempo explorations... but they are very accessible and commercial. And if you play guitar... there is much here to learn from. Satriani lost me after THE EXTREMIST... because he stopped doing songs that I liked. What I liked were the more accessible tunes that were interesting (like BACK TO SHALLA BAL, SUMMER SONG, FLYING IN A BLUE DREAM)... and that made me want to play air guitar. Instead he went off on tangents that I didn't really care for. He got away from the rock, and the rock is what I really liked. Sherwood's release has the rock that I liked. Sherwood doesn't lose the edge that keeps his music firmly in the rock genre... even when he's playing a ballad. Listen to THREE YEARS INTO FOREVER... a haunting ballad that has an awesome metal part in the middle. But it fits! There's also some great humor in the release... listen to some of those classic intros. The man has a great sense of humor. Awesome! All in all, this release has great song writing, and great playing! It has really crisp production... you can hear all of the instruments very clearly. And it sounds great CRANKED. By all means... if you are a rock guitar player... buy this release and listen and enjoy.... and best of all... learn how to do it yourself from a master. Even if you don't play an instrument... you can still enjoy this release! Music is music, and this release features some great melodic music!

5.0 out of 5 stars Great collection of guitar based tracks
by C5DANGE
This album is a great example of what a guitar based instrumental album should be. It's not all about how fast you can play (although there are plenty of moments like that), but more about great melodies and catchy tunes. I've been listening to the album all morning and I'm still hearing new things, it's got several layers to most tracks.
Best 8 quid I have spent this month for sure.

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent album!
by Rubester Dawg
I love this album from start to finish! It's great when you can get into every song and not skip to hear next song. I love all these songs but Jumping Ship, You Talkin' to Me?, How You Doin'?, A New Hope, Slipping Away, Franabelle and The Last Kiss stick out for me. My favorite is Three Years Into Forever...this song touches my soul! No shredding here, just beautiful songs with great melodies and beautiful guitar playing. I can't wait to hear more from Des Sherwood! Awesome job, Des!!

 

5.0 out of 5 stars How a guitar should sound
by Carl Dawson
An album made in a living room. Doesn't sound like it does it?
Fans of Satriani, Vai and Moore will love this.
Well worth the money, I've had it stuck on repeat since I downloaded it.

5.0 out of 5 stars
by n_p_dangerfield
Fantastic instrumental album, wide range of style all of which rock. Quality!!!!

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic instrumental guitar!!!
by rahslh
Reminds me of Satriani at times. Des is very talented!!

5.0 out of 5 stars Well played and well thought out 11 Sep 2013
By Matt
Format:MP3 Download|Amazon Verified Purchase
This production and playing on this album is excellent throughout. None of the tracks were over-done, and technique wasn't used for the sake of it.
There are a number of tracks to draw attention to, so I will just cover off a few of my favorites;
"Jumping ship" - well paced and played and enjoyable throughout and is clever without being too flashy or pretentious (don't worry there is still a few flashy runs for those that need them :0)
"Three Years into Forever" - This is a tasteful ballad, but still has enough of a solo to smack you in the face half way through.
"How YOU Doin'?" - This song is probably my favorite, but is a great song, in fact it's like a better version of "Three sheets to the wind" from Satriani's new album.
Overall the performance seems to be 100% perfect, I've yet to pick out a bend that isn't spot on or any phrasing that could be questioned. Great stuff!

5.0 out of 5 stars Music To My ears...... August 28, 2013
By Tim D. Budzinski "Tim"
Format:MP3 Download|Amazon Verified Purchase
As a fan of guitar based instrumentals ala Satriani, Vai, etc.,I'm always looking for good guitar based music to listen to. So when I saw this I knew I had to give it a listen and I sure am glad that I did. It's a musical journey, so to speak, from start to finish...and it's very obvious that Des Sherwood has a talent that most guitarists/writers aspire to have, and it shows through in every song. I'd recommend this in either mp3 or cd form to anyone and everyone that's looking for great music, written and performed by a truly talented musician. Fantastic music!

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