Guitarist Tim Rockmore is a seasoned pro — a veteran of numerous studio sessions and jingles — and a long-term road warrior. One listen to Noodles, his new five-track EP, makes it clear that he knows his way around a fretboard, not to mention a winning melody. The all-instrumental set covers a wide range of styles, all done with a degree of integrity that rises above the standard “look at what I can do” approach. Although a broad range of genres are covered, they hang together well, courtesy of Rockmore’s fluid playing.
The opener, “Road Song,” is a slow burner. Layered guitar harmonies soar above a circular rhythm part, producing a compelling hypnotic groove. You can see why Tim’s been an in-demand supplier of library music; you could easily picture the visuals that would accompany this piece in a movie or TV show.
“Sunny’s Song” starts with a bright, joyous acoustic opening, again followed by Tim’s signature soaring harmonized guitar lines. There’s a nice hook about one minute in that really takes the track to another level. It’s obvious that there’s plenty more left in the tank without blowing everything in the first couple of minutes. So many all-instrumental collections suffer from soulless repetition or a “trying too hard to please” diversity; Rockmore has managed to strike the right balance.
“Goin’ to Nashville” gives the clue in the title where this one is going, and again Rockmore delivers the goods. The memorable melody and gritty soloing offer enough shred to satisfy the hardcore guitar fan without alienating the “civilians.”
“Hot Noodles” is pure Jeff Beck/Blow by Blow territory, not to mention another satisfying slab of six-string riffery. The trademark harmonized guitar parts are here, laid over a veritable wall of crunching riffing axes.
Closer “My Guitar Wants to Funk” is indeed funky, with a laid-back, almost Doobies groove and smoothly sustaining melody line — interspersed with crunching riffing to switch the feel momentarily and stop things becoming too predictable.
The EP’s fresh, positive vibe draws you in and leaves you wanting more. Obviously possessed of great chops, Tim’s also a tone connoisseur who understands when to sit back and when it’s time to showboat. Upcoming for Tim is work on American Pride, a new album by the Ray Freeman Jr. Band featuring Eric Gales, which is due for release next year. Tim is in constant demand for session work, and a look at his website (timrockmoreband.com) will give you a feel for the other side of his playing with some clips of his live band in action.
Noodles is available at Apple iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon and most other online platforms.