ROBERT WALKER – One For The Road

ROBERT WALKER - One For The Road


Rock Werk Records
Release date: February 9, 2006

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German guitarist Robert Walker can be considered a new comer on the music scene; given this, a formal introduction is in order. Robert was born in Stuttgart, Germany and grew up in Franconia. He began playing (drums) at the tender age of 13. When he found it difficult to transcribe his musical thoughts to the drum kit, he decided to switch to the guitar at the age of 16 and has never looked back. Robert cites his musical influences as being Rory Gallagher, Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, and Steve Vai. One For The Road is Robert’s debut release and it’s an eight track, all instrumental album.

Robert has expressed that “… a guitar instrumental CD has to be more than a row of technique lessons. A guitar instrumental has to be a song, even without vocals; the guitar has to be the vocalist.” With this attitude and belief in mind, it should come as no surprise that Robert’s instrumental debut is a very solid release. Walker has managed to make sure that this debut is not a typical Satriani/Vai cloned release!

A few tracks have a close similarity with Rockier versions of Vai instrumentals, but for the most part, Walker mixes in touches of Blues and Texan overtones that gives the release its own distinct feel … kind of like Rory Gallagher or Stevie Ray Vaughan paying tribute to Satriani/Vai. Given the feel of this release, it’s somewhat peculiar that Walker doesn’t cite Stevie Ray Vaughan as an influence. One would have thought otherwise, given some of the phrasings and look of the CD’s cover, as well as the image on the inside cover and his Web site. The image in question is a picture of Walker wearing a hat, similar in shape to the signature flat brim of SRV, while holding and playing a Stratocaster look alike.

The release starts off with the title track, which is a mid-tempo Rocker with a Texas feel, making it quite apparent this isn’t another typical shred release. The next track, “Dolphins Day,” is where the Satriani/Vai influences gain the edge, making for a nice up-tempo Rocker. The other endearing quality of this release is that Walker doesn’t overindulge in long, macho guitar solos. He stays true to his beliefs and plays with a lot of melody and conviction, while keeping solos to the point. “Midsummer Night” is a mellower, more emotional instrumental where the listener almost feels empathy, while it seems like his guitar sings a somber tune. “Ghostriders” is a tribute to “Ghost Riders In The Sky” by Stan Jones. It’s a unique tribute for an instrumental disc in that it Rocks while at the same time having an almost Bonanza or Rawhide feel to it. “May The Wind,” “Heartbeat,” and “Ballad” are, regrettably, slower, solemn tracks. This might be the only real complaint from fans, that half of this disc is placid tempo material for a guitarist who can certainly shred if he so desires. Thankfully, the closer “The Wizzard” ends on a fast, upbeat note, being more of a Vai Rocker. Also worth mentioning, as a serious plus is the production, which throughout is solid, crisp, clean, and well done.

All in all, a very solid debut from a German guitar instrumentalist that is not afraid to dabble in a little Blues/Texan feel now and again. Walker’s combination of technique and melody makes for a truly unique-sounding instrumental experience. So, for guitar enthusiasts who desire something slightly different … head on over to Robert’s site and order a copy of this fine debut!


Robert Walker – Guitars, Keyboards, Programming, Production
Andy Kupfer – Drums on “Ghostriders,” “Dolphins Day,” and “The Wizzard”
Robert Steinhardt – Bass Guitar on “Ghostriders” and “Dolphins Day”


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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