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Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEWS

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2005 11:02 am
by Wild Willy
Post your reviews of the tribute cd in this thread.

Please do not post questions about the cd. You can email me directly at


WW :headbanger

I added a favorite track poll to this thread as well. Enjoy! :headbanger

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:26 pm
by mandrakeroot
I like this tribute and tribute albums are a very difficult thing to do indeed.

In My Ways
A great opener George has never pulled any punches and does not start here. His searing axe cutting deep into the flesh of the song interspaced with some fine vocals.

Good intro and some fine vocals from Karl. It is deliberatly down tempo as it suits his style more and the second listen I got into it much more. The guitar work of course is very fine, what else would you expect!

Stay With Me
Stands tall maybe because I have liked John Norum for many years, himself another underrated "guitar star". This track is very close to the original without being totally plagerised. A contender for my fav track vote.

It's Begun To Rain,
Yet again captures the original feel from IV very well and AYH vocals are superb. A well honed solo from Audley that leaves you begging for more. A very well crafted track and a classy piece to boot.

He's Calling
A really funky, hypnotic feel here. Jennifer Batten is new to me and if this is anything to go by, I'll be checking her tunes some more.

Can't go too far wihout this one getting a mention, else Lori will never forgive me. This version has a different style and Rick has definatly made it his own, which he is perfectly entitled to. I really like Rick Schults "reeds" as it adds a completly new dimension to the song, they remind me of Ian Underwoods renditions on Hot Rats. Not a criticism, but no one does this tune like Frank, as his soul is in every note and I have heard more renditions of Poppy, than I've had hot dinners and I 'aint no Whippet! I admire Rick's bravery for taking this one on, as I would run a million miles rather than attempt to do this justice. A very fine effort sir.

Babylon Revisited
Jeff Cloud has made a substancial effort here and the track stands on it's own and the drums are well up in the mix.

Try For Freedom
Ha hah Ronnie Montrose another boyhood hero of mine. Ronnie gets to grip with the song immediatly and plays it note for note. I was really looking forward to hearing this, as I was very curious about it. I would have preferred the guitar to have been more up in the mix, but hey I 'aint complainin'. All these songs are tributes and must be viewed as such, they are not going to be better than Frank's are they :roll:

The Answer
Anyone who's not heard Randy before may well check him out after hearing this version of a FMMR classic. The song has a great "almost live" feel to it and you can tell Randy has listend to "Live" a few times before. However, I don't personally like faded out tracks, my only a slight criticism.

The World Anthem
The intro to this song builds monumentally, James has put a lot into this and I really think this one takes the biscuit for me. Every note he plays is intense and meaningful, again he has made the song his own but pulled it off big time. A fitting end and a great tribute to the man we know and love.

A winner and a must for any Frank Marino fan, go and buy it slot it into your collection and shame on you, if you don't.

A big thank you and "Hats off" to Willy for making this all happen :winky

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:50 pm
by maddmarty
Thanks Mandrake!
I'm still waiting for my own copy. Can't wait to hearing this...

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 3:41 pm
by Bob Nelson
I just gave it my first listen. This is a high quality tribute album to say the least. Every song is good, every artist added their own special touch to the song that they played. This is a triumph.
Mandrakeroot gave us an excellent song by song review so i'm not going to do that, but I will tell you this , anybody who is a fan of Frank Marino is going to love this. It will be getting regular play in my cd player .
Willy Parsons did a great job putting this together, we all owe him a debt of gratitude for this website and now he has gone a step further. This was well worth the wait. Thanks Willy.
As far as choosing a favorite song, after one listen if I had to pick one it is Rick Ray's version of Poppy. Rick did a great job on this. I also really like Jennifer Batten's take of He's Calling, really cool.
Like I said there is not anything close to a weak track on here. Spread the word people, this is a keeper.

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 6:26 pm
by Kurt
Great song-by-song review. Thank you. I'm looking forward to hearing this, but it's gonna be a bit of a wait for me. Christmas morning, actually. My present from my 11 year old, via mom. He just doesn't know it yet.

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:06 pm
by Bob Nelson
I have to chime in again on the Tribute cd.

I am listening to it for the second time now (as I write this) and it is so cool to hear these other guitar players play Frank's songs. Every single song is great, I am not kidding. And it makes you realize just how distinct Frank's style is.

First of all let me say again what I have said many times in the past Frank Marino sounds like Frank Marino. I have never thought that he sounded like anybody else when he plays. Even on Maxoom where Frank dedicated it to Hendrix ,and it is without a doubt his most Hendrix sounding album, the guitar sounds like Frank, not Jimi. The thing that sound like Jimi is the singing and the arangements.

And to hear these other fine guitar players play his songs in their own way, you know immediately that they are doing a Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush song. I meen not matter how they do the song it is still Frank. And that is what I really love about this cd. Mahogany Rush was my favorite band from the first time I ever heard them back in 1974. They just hit me like a ton of bricks right away. And I have never stopped loving Frank Marino's music. And to hear other people paying tribute to him makes me feel great , especially for him. He really deserved a tribute album.

Something else that everybody will really like i'm sure is the packaging. It is in a digipack cd case with great liner notes. Everybody that played on this has a written quote by them to Frank after the song information. And there are also quotes by others that did not play on here but are fans of Frank. Guys like the late great Shawn Lane, Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde,Marty Freidman and Steve Lukather amoung others.

Just a great job by Wild Willy, this is a first rate tribute album. The sound is excellent, just top of the line.

Wait until you guys and gals who have not heard this yet, hear it. It is awesome.

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 9:43 pm
by agora1
..FYI, saw this on announcement about the 'Tribute' release on the web..
from the Pittsburgh City Paper no less! :) ... the%20band

re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:27 pm
by EmperorIV
I just opened my Secondhand Smoke cd and thanks Willy for the fast delivery!

In My Ways-Probably my all time fave Frank tune...George Lynch mutilates a wah pedal on this cut..very true to the original! Inspired and energetic!

Dragonfly-WOW! This grooves big time...very funky! Great recording and the bass guitar just ROX! Great singing and a blistering wah infected solo!

Stay With Me-JOH NORUM!! FREAKIN' AWESOME!! John keeps this close to the vest and rocks it hard! He really keeps the solo true to Franks..and theres nothing wrong with that! Atta boy John!!

It's Begun To Rain-One of my favorite guitarist tackles this beautiful song...he really makes this song his own..very unique and of course, beautiful..great rendition!!

He's Calling-I was surprised to see that this song was done by one has a unique view of the song and Jennifer really takes this song to a new area..very 21st century but retains Frank's themes

Poppy-EXCELLENT! Very appreciative version of Poppy..great rhythm by the backing musicians..Rick nails this song!! His tone is fantastic!!

Babylon Revisited-This, I imagine, would be a difficult song to do..Franks version is fiery! Jeff Cloud add's his signature here with some excellent playing..this song seemed to me to be the basis of U2's song Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me Kill Me from the Batman motion picture!!

Try for Freedom-Ronnie Montrose..need I say more? He nails this song! Keeps it close to the original and really emulates Frank's original vibe! One of the highlights to this cd!!!

The Answer-Randy Hansen is one of my all time favorite guitar players!!!! This is what this song would sound like if Jimi played it..Randy whips this songs butt with Jimi's Cry of Love tone...He even has Frank's Child of the Novelty guitar sound going on in his whammy bar frenzied solo!

World Anthem-OH MY GOD, this is majestic in it's performance!! James is one helluva talented musician and he performs this stunningly! He should've called his version the Shred Anthem.LOL :headbanger


re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" REVIEW

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:49 pm
by maddmarty
Got a note from the post office, saying i can pick it up in the morning. CANT WAIT!

Re: re: Frank Marino Tribute "Secondhand Smoke" RE

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 1:06 pm
by Ze Finnish Line
maddmarty wrote:Got a note from the post office, saying i can pick it up in the morning. CANT WAIT!
I wonder how many weeks it will take to reach the coast of Finland... :(

Well, I'm perfectly happy reading your reviews...

PS. Next time pre-order for us backwoods people a week ahead of others, ok? :winky