Michael Lee Firkins

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Vincent Jeffries
There were literally dozens of young Steve Vai and Joe Satriani-influenced rock guitarists dreaming of launching big-time instrumental rock careers on shredder specialty labels like Shrapnel during the late '80s and early '90s. Michael Lee Firkins was one of the best artists if not the best among these mostly forgotten noodlers. Refusing to play the goofy-outfit-wearing self-marketer, Firkins let his music speak for itself, and as his label's fortunes dwindled with the subsiding popularity of this very specialized genre, that voice was muffled by obscurity. To date, Firkins seems to have not been allowed the resources to record a disc with a production level equal to ...
See more details below
CD
$16.55
BN.com price
(Save 8%)$17.99 List Price
Other sellers (CD)
  • All (1) from $16.25   
  • New (1) from $16.25   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Vincent Jeffries
There were literally dozens of young Steve Vai and Joe Satriani-influenced rock guitarists dreaming of launching big-time instrumental rock careers on shredder specialty labels like Shrapnel during the late '80s and early '90s. Michael Lee Firkins was one of the best artists if not the best among these mostly forgotten noodlers. Refusing to play the goofy-outfit-wearing self-marketer, Firkins let his music speak for itself, and as his label's fortunes dwindled with the subsiding popularity of this very specialized genre, that voice was muffled by obscurity. To date, Firkins seems to have not been allowed the resources to record a disc with a production level equal to this debut, and while decent, none of his subsequent instrumental albums captures the same urgency and clarity. Firkins proves himself capable of keeping up with the 64th-note crowd, but his songwriting, tone, and amazing feel for rhythm separate this musician from the gaggle of equipment-endorsing, pink-and-green-guitar-playing instrumental competitors. Rarely can shredders pull off five minutes of blues soloing as intriguing and consistent as Firkins does on "Déjà Blues," much less write a brilliant chorus to wrap around all the screaming leads. The elegant guitar tones and arrangements combined with sticky-sweet melodies and a completely original approach to rock soloing make standouts like "Space Crickets" and "Laughing Stacks" instrumental classics. Central to Firkins' guitar voice is his generous use of country-sounding double stops and a unique picking technique that gives his guitar a cool horn-like quality. Mimicking horns, especially saxophones, is something that many guitarists aspire to do, but only the absolute best Allan Holdsworth, for instance can even approximate wind instrument tone, legato, and sustain. Ever the innovator, Firkins actually captures more of a country-metal-clarinet effect during choice lead spots like the springy B section of "Laughing Stacks." Despite his amazing ability, Firkins never took the studio cat or sideman route to second-hand prominence and financial security, the virtuoso preferring instead to woodshed and further tweak his guitar abilities. The resulting excursions are fine efforts, but this debut still stands out as the musician's best collection.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/7/1990
  • Label: Shrapnel
  • UPC: 026245104525
  • Catalog Number: 1045
  • Sales rank: 55,098

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Laughing Stacks (4:21)
  2. 2 24 Grand Avenue (4:36)
  3. 3 Runaway Train (3:08)
  4. 4 Cactus Cruz (3:28)
  5. 5 Deja Blues (6:27)
  6. 6 Space Crickets (3:44)
  7. 7 Rain in the Tunnel (5:23)
  8. 8 Hula Hoops (3:50)
  9. 9 The Sargasso Sea (5:25)
Read More Show Less

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Michael Lee Firkins Primary Artist, Guitar, Electric Guitar
James Kottak Drums
Jeff Pilson Bass
Technical Credits
Michael Lee Firkins Composer
Steve Fontano Producer, Engineer
Mike Varney Producer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously