On A Mission Review:
This is California based Garth Webber's third solo release, and he is no new face to the music scene. He has performed with many notible jazz and blues artists including, Miles Davis, Greg Allman, Mose Alison, John Lee Hooker, Bill Champlin, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, and Kingfish with Bob Weir. Along the way, he also developed a friendship with the Ford family (Robben, Patrick, Mark), and it's easy to detect the influence this association has had on Garth's music.
"Man on a Mission" consists of ten songs ranging in styles from rock and blues-rock to jazzy soul/R&B type stuff. The transition of music from one song to the next is very smooth, as none of the styles are done to extreme. The rock is not heavy rock, and the jazz/R&B not too mushy. Garth considers himself first and foremost a guitar player, and there are lots of very classy lead breaks throughout the disc. Garth's guitar work is strong but not overstated, has great tone and exceptional phrasing, and sometimes exhibits a slight jazzy feel. (Remind you of anyone?) Garth also handles vocals on six songs, and does and admirable job.
While primarily a player, Garth obviously has some writing skill as well, as the music for all ten songs was written by him with some help on the lyrics from other contributors to the CD. As can be seen by the performer credits, a rather large procession of musicians work their way in and out from song to song. Yet the whole thing comes off very tight, well balanced, and cohesive.
Production and audio quality are also excellent, adding yet more enjoyment to this disc. It is hard to pick favorites from this disc, as all ten songs are strong offerings. If pressed to do so, I suppose I would chose the chunky instrumental "Can't Dance", and the blues/R&B tune "Choose My Own Way", which features Garth and Robben Ford taking turns on the lead. All in all, a very fine CD, and a worthy addition to the collection of any blues-rock fan.