A project by session guitarist Marcus Deml, Errorhead is in parts the funk of War, the soulful sounds of Neal Schon's solo work, (1997's Electric World or 2001's I On U,) the animated sounds of David Gilmour, and the soothe of the great Carlos Santana. Let it be said first and foremost, Marcus Deml is one hell of a guitarist. Let's repeat this - an absurdly, versatile, expressive, talented guitarist. His solos are off the wall good; his use of distortion, reverb and spinning riffs and solos around a solid rhythm section makes his Fender Strat virtually come alive. Along with such guitar wizards as Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Mike Slamer, Tor Talle, Modern Hippie's Marcus Deml shows the listening world that he is a talent to be reckoned with.
Born in Prague in August of 1967, it was during his teenage years that a slew of influences like T-Bone Walker, ELP, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, The Dixie Dregs, Gary Moore and George Benson instilled a love for the guitar that can be heard to this day. In 1986, Marcus Deml moved to Hollywood, CA to attend the Musician's Institute, and during this time studied under such powerhouses as Scott Henderson, Paul Gilbert and Frank Gambale. For the next two years he practiced as much as 12 hours a day, and made the rounds of many of Southern California's most famous nightclubs many times working with producer Randy Jackson (Journey bassist/current American Idol judge,) and famed drummer Carmine Appice, (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Paul Stanley, Rod Stewart, King Cobra, Blue Murder, Eric Carmen, Mother's Army, Eddie Money.) Despite being a hugely sought after session guitarist, because of personal and business problems, Marcus Deml was forced to return to Europe in 1993. In 1994, Deml began to work on the project EarthNation that over time would transform itself into the group Errorhead, releasing their debut CD in 1995 with this, Modern Hippie being the band's third studio release. In 2005, Guitar Magazine would give Marcus Deml the award as being one of the Top 3 Guitar Heroes, and was invited to receive the award at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame presented to him by Steve Lukather and Joe Satriani.
The standout of Modern Hippie is Marcus Deml's ability to transcend from one style to another. From rhythm and blues to jazz to progressive to rock to soul to pop, he does it all smoothly and naturally. It has the telltale sounds of his influences - namely the David Gilmour sounds of "Dave," and "Temporary Impression," which should make fans of Gilmour's latest solo CD, On An Island, reach for these tracks as well. The contagious vibe of "Connected" makes for one damn good track. The nasty funk of War can be heard with "For My Brothers," the George Benson jazz of the wonderful "Northern Lights," and the gorgeous, rousing big band sounding closing track "Tata," (imagine Duke Ellington's East St. Louis Toodle-doo, also wonderfully covered by Steely Dan.) The magical Hendrix-ish "Bhangra Baby," the expressive, touching and stirring intro to "We Came in Peace," that has the radio news of a horrible suicide bombing in Iraq will bring tears to the listener's eyes as Marcus Deml brings this track to life using a wide variety of sounds, special effects and feelings. "We Came in Peace," is the obvious choice for this CD's highlights mixing rock, blues, jazz, funk, soul and techno-pop. And it is all done to perfection. Reminiscent of the progressive sound that made Emerson Lake and Palmer famous is track 9, "Heaven," that also features the sounds of bongo drums and various percussions.
From opening to closing this is a tight CD. The mixing is well done, the bass work of Frank Itt (Terence Trent D'Arby, Jule Neigel) and the drums of Zacky Tsoukas (Billy Sheehan, John Hayes) and the voice of Robbie Smith are all exceptional. But it is the guitar of Marcus Nepomus Deml that IS the reason to purchase Modern Hippie. For truly not a bad track to be found, for in all the right places there is something here for lovers of every kind of music.
What a treasure of a CD to listen to …
Hardrock Haven rating: 9.5/10