Review By Darren McIntyre
Stephen Richard Hackett, the versatile guitarist, singer, songwriter, and record producer hailing from London, England, is celebrated for his pivotal role as the lead guitarist of the progressive rock band Genesis from 1971 to 1977. His contributions encompass six Genesis studio albums, three live albums, seven singles, and one EP before embarking on a highly successful solo career. To date, Steve Hackett has impressively released 30 solo records and continues to enthral audiences with his live performances.
Hackett’s musical influences span a wide spectrum, drawing from genres such as Jazz, Classical, and Blues. In this context, Hackett has recently unveiled “Foxtrot At Fifty + Hackett Highlights,” a live recording from Brighton. Within this recording emerges the captivating “Can-Utility & The Coastliners,” a track that I have the pleasure of reviewing for you today.
“Can-Utility & The Coastliners” opens with enchanting melodic guitar picks that set the stage for a mesmerizing musical journey. Soulful vocals pour forth from the stage, instantly invoking a sense of nostalgia for this classic composition. The introduction of keyboards adds depth and complexity, elevating the track to new heights. As the full band joins in, the arrangement takes on a dynamic life of its own, driven by a rhythm section characterized by robust snare drum punches and cascading cymbal crashes, setting our imaginations free.
The piece continues to build, gradually intensifying and leaving listeners breathless in its wake. Hackett’s musicianship is nothing short of breathtaking, drawing us in with the sheer brilliance of his craft. The vocals, delivered with a soft yet gritty quality, propel this foot-tapping piece down an evocative musical road. Synth tones permeate the air, allowing each listener to embark on a personal journey guided by the music. Hackett’s guitar work is exquisite, and he commands the stage with his spellbinding performance throughout this monumental piece.
From start to finish, “Can-Utility & The Coastliners” is a sheer marvel, a sonic odyssey that transports us into uncharted realms. It’s a track where one can lose themselves entirely, drifting off into the distance as the music takes hold.
Steve Hackett and his talented ensemble, featuring vocalists Steve Hackett and Nad Sylvan, bassist and 12-string guitarist Jonas Reingold, saxophonist, flautist, keyboardist Rob Townsend, keyboardist Roger King, and drummer/percussionist Craig Blundell, collectively weave a musical tapestry that is both timeless and transcendent.
In summary, “Can-Utility & The Coastliners” serves as a testament to Steve Hackett’s enduring musical prowess and his ability to enrapture audiences with his masterful compositions and performances. This live rendition is undoubtedly a treasure for fans of Steve Hackett and Genesis, and it reaffirms his status as a legendary figure in the world of progressive rock.