"As a barely adequate rhythm guitarist, I'm hardly qualified to proclaim that Steve Morse has the very best guitar chops in the known universe. Certainly, few would argue that the man truly has an amazing technical prowess, but then again, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and a host of other "guitar heroes" have their share of worshipers in that regard. I believe that Mr. Morse's accomplishments as a composer are what truly set him on a musical pinnacle. The way he seamlessly combines rock, jazz, country, Celtic, and baroque/classical elements into his work are what put me in awe. One reviewer described his compositions as "manic," but to me, that's entirely too limiting an adjective: despite his usually high-energy approach to music, Morse's work shows an incredible scope and depth of musical vision.For those who have only experienced Steve Morse's work through the Dixie Dregs, Kansas, or Deep Purple, "High Tension Wires" is perhaps the best introduction to his post-Dregs compositions. As a previous reviewer related, "Highland Wedding" is truly an amazing piece, and I had it played at my own wedding, to the dismay of a few older relatives.Mr. Morse has been showered with much adulation for his guitar talent, and deservedly so. However, I believe that, decades from now, he will be admired more for what came from his head than from his fingers. HJ"
Best of the best
bonzo_dog | 02/01/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are unfamiliar with Steve Morse, this is the album to start with. Arguably his best of all time (and, according to interviews with the man himself, his personal favorite). While the guitar playing is as technically proficient as anything he's done (and that's a damned sight better than nearly any other guitar player in the world), what sets this album apart is the breadth and genius of his composition.Unlike many other virtuosi electric guitar players (think Satriani) whose albums are often spotty - moments of sublime genius and talent interspersed with many tracks that are either repetitive-sounding or mere doodling - Steve Morse never produces a throw-away track. Each one is wonderful, and each one is very different in feel and musical heritage.If you are a guitar player, love the guitar as an instrument, or just want an opportunity to hear some fantastic music, this one is a "must have" for your collection."
Morse the guitar god? No, Morse the composer..
spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 09/13/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Look through any guitarist's magazine or the "similar artists" sections on this site and you'll see a few names repeatedly come up. Satriani, Moore, Vai, Malmsteen, huge names in the world of guitar. You'll find reviews describing jaw-dropping proficiency and technical brilliance. Listening to them makes you wonder if they're even human due to the near-physical-impossibility of their playing.Steve Morse, on the other hand, leaves no doubt about being human. Not because he can't shred just as well - take a listen to "Tumeni Notes" - but because the strength of the compositions and the pure soul that comes through the playing is, far and away, miles beyond any generic blaze of 128th notes. He never seems like he's showing off since the playing tries to fit the songs, and not vice versa. Some of the songs are based on no more than one simple progression ("Country Colors," "Ghostwind," "Modoc"), but the playing over this whole album is filled with such tone and color that you wish they'd go on for 10 more minutes.I'm not necessarily knocking Satch and the others; there are virtues to their playing too. But nothing I've heard yet from them gives me goosebumps like "Ghostwind" still does after a couple hundred listenings, or paints beautiful landscapes in my imagination like "Highland Wedding." As Hal Johnson said below, it's what comes from Steve's mind that sets him apart from just about anyone else who's picked up an axe. Guitarist or not, musician or not, this is an album for anyone who appreciates music, talent, or simply beauty when they find it."
A brilliant collection of songs from a guitar virtuoso.
spiral_mind | 03/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Steve Morse is often labeled a "guitarist's guitarist." In other words, you have to play guitar to enjoy his music. While that may be true for some of his cd's, it's simply not the case with "High Tension Wires.""High Tension Wires" is filled with great songwriting where song and melody are blended with incredible technique to create amazing music. The songwriting on this thing blows me away every time I listen to it.My favorite cut is "Highland Wedding." It in itself is worth the price of the whole cd. However, this isn't a cd with just one or two good songs. It is solid throughout and sounds great as a complete listen. It's rare when I listen to just one cut...I generally consume the whole thing.I wholeheartedly recommend this cd."
spiral_mind | 02/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was 22 years old when I bought this CD.At that time I didn't know Steve Morse at all. When I put it on my player, I was blown out: the intro of "ghostwind" was simply great and its development was even more astonishing. I remember that I thought that the first track was the best one and that the other ones were surely not on the same level as the first (I was used to listen to guitar players that sold their album thanks to only one or two tracks). Well, I was wrong: here every track seemed to be better than the previous one and eventually when I finished to listen to the last one I realized: this guitar player is incredible not just for his superb technique but above all for his genious mind! Why he is not famous in Italy? (Before Deep Purple it was very difficult to find his albums.)
His work is a mixture of various influences all blended together, it is hard to classify it. You will love this album either you like rock, or heavy, or pop, or jazz, or new age, or classics, or country...
Steve has collaborated with many great artists and bands of different generes during his career (Barrueco, Petrucci, McLaughlin, Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple...): this means that he is obviously very well appreciated and shows his great passion for all different kind of music.
I'm not exagerating if I say that it's a must have for everyone!"