Exposé Online banner

Hectic Watermelon — The Great American Road Trip
(Predator Fish PF 3346, 2006, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2008-01-01

The Great American Road Trip Cover artHectic Watermelon is less a band than a solo project built around the talents of guitarist John Czajkowski. For this album he's assembled a capable trio to back him that includes bass (Harley Magsino), drums (Darren Debree), as well as legendary fusion violinist Jerry Goodman, who contributes his usual top notch playing to nine of the album's 11 tracks. Czajkowski is a versatile and multi-faceted player, though he sticks primarily with electric fusion-rock guitar throughout the album. Stylistically he covers the usual, from Eric Johnson's "clean Strat" sound, to Steve Morse's "country boogie" style, to Steve Vai's "strangled metal" style, with nods here and there to everyone from Jeff Beck to Alan Holdsworth. Clearly he's studied every big name guitarist to come along in the past 20 years and can pull whatever style is demanded of him out of his bag of tricks. The arrangements — all instrumentals except for the Adrian Belew flavored "Twenty-First Century Visigoth" — are fairly standard guitar trio fusion fare. Memorable tunes are scarce, though what you get instead is loads of leads and solos from Czajkowski and plenty of duels between him and Goodman. Fans of the rockin' fusion or the aforementioned guitarists will probably enjoy this album, though slipping an acoustic piece or two in among the others would have helped give it a bit more diversity. Still, Czajkowski is a talent to be reckoned with and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): Hectic Watermelon

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Sparks - Sparks & A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing – Most probably know Sparks from their later work, but these two are where it all began for this LA based five-piece led by brothers Ron and Russel Mael (keyboards and vocals, respectively). On these...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues