Sterling Ball and his longtime musical associates John Ferraro and Jim Cox have put together a CD of rock/pop classics.  For this recording, they enlisted the help of other friends (and Ernie Ball endorsers) like Albert Lee, Steve Lukather, John Petrucci, Steve Morse, Jay Graydon, and Steve Vai.   Sterling mainly handled the bass duties (with some lead guitar work), Jim Cox, the keyboards, and John Ferraro the drumming.  Dave Stone, Jeremy Moyers, and Brad Hayman also assisted in this project.  All of the tracks are instrumental versions of the tunes.

A few of the great covers of songs they do are Payday Song, Sugar Shack, Baby Please Don’t Go, The In Crowd, Treat Her Right, Memphis, I Want You Back, and a great Disney movie medley with John Petrucci on the axe (my buddy Gary Hoey will dig this).  The cool thing is that the guitar slinger on a given track, has a steady rhythm section that allows him to deal with the song in his own style.

Baby Please Don’t Go features Steve Lukather having a great boogie style lick fest.  The Jackson 5 tune I Want You Back has Sterling doing some country type, Albert Lee-like licks.  Steve Vai does a nice job with the old Fireball’s hit Sugar Shack.  Memphis features some great picking by Sterling.  Albert Lee is just, well, Albert Lee giving Hey Good Lookin’ some picking pleasure.  Strip Mall Gourmet is an original jazz type composition by the three originators, will nice guitar work by Jay Graydon.

A nice break from the routine music out there now.  Some real big players, nice arrangements, a fun project.

By R.M. Engelman