Preston Murdock 2015
Teenage axe-grinder comes center-stage but, revealing his potential, artfully avoids a guitar hero pose.
At 18 years of age, Preston Murdock can boast a high level of versatility – playing with two Japan-based ensembles, prog-fusioneers CYMBALIC ENCOUNTERS and weighty funksters THE DAVE JUTEAU BAND – but he demonstrates a much sharper edge on a solo front. “Searchlight For The Lonely” rides a powerful bluesy riff whose might is undercut on verses by Dave Juteau’s slightly detached vocal but, with the choruses’ uplift, an airy approach and the heavy groove gel just fine.
Running around the stereo picture, Murdock’s filigree, if muscular, fretboard explorations never lose the original melodic grounding and, thus, hit hard until a delicate acoustic strumming throws the apocalyptic warning of “the end is near” to the gloomy, yet soulful, depth. It may not be obvious on the first listen, and this single may require some remixing to heighten its allure, but that’s the descent worth taking.