Review: Ralph E. Hayes

Ralph E. Hayes
“Long Drive Home”
(33rd Street Records)

Ralph E. Hayes calls his instrumental guitar music “instrumental guitar noir music” and “mood music for the 21st century.”  While it strikes me as more timeless in a classic sense (shadows of blues and cool jazz drift by), the “noir” angle taps into the sonic chiaroscuro of this soundtrack for the gloaming.  The best material, ideally suited to midnight rides on long, lonely roads, clusters to the beginning of this CD, especially in “Deep into the Moment” and “Long Drive Home in the Rain”.  “Long Drive Home in the Rain” is a fine example of the best of the CD.  In it, his guitar lines float over the same understated post-blues fluidity of David Gilmour, while the entire CD will appeal to fans of Chris Isaak’s guitar style.  However, the rest of the album does not entirely bear out the promise of the first three tracks.