Sam Coulson, guitarist for ASIA, has released his first solo album in which it’s his take of classical music done in an instrumental format entitled Electric Classical in which he self-released it last year. There are ten tracks on here that clock in at 24 minutes and 05 seconds and there aren’t any guitar shredding and powerful riffs, it’s Sam showing a beautiful and gentle side of his love of the genre from the realms of Beethoven, Bach, Anon, and Tarrega to name a few.
He started sharing videos nine years ago on YouTube of playing Guitar from the realms of covers and classical interpretations. And it caught the eye of Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big, Racer X) as he brought him to be a guest instructor at the Great Guitar Escape in which Gilbert himself created back in 2012.
It soon got Coulson to fill in the place of Steve Howe after he departed with ASIA as he released Gravitas two years ago on the Frontiers label and I hope he’ll do more with them for years to come. Now onto his debut album. I have to admit, I wasn’t aware of Coulson’s music until I saw his videos and just being blown away of his interpretations and he brought a lot of amazement to me of his videos on his YouTube channel.
With the release of his solo debut, I was impressed that it showed he’s got lot of potential in his virtuosity. Both clean and hard, he nails these pieces of music that proves he isn’t showing off, but nailing it down top to bottom. The tracks clock in between, 2, 3, 4, and 1-minute long and it’s very laid-back, beautiful, uplifting, and very strong in which he brings it to the dining room table.
It is now my fourth time listening to Electric Classical. And even though I was very new to Sam's music, it is a beautiful and short debut album for him and I hope for the second album he continues to do more. Maybe some longer pieces in the future as I hope he will do challenging pieces from Stravinsky, Mussorgsky, and Alban Berg to name a few.
All in all, it’s a welcoming debut for him and along with his work with ASIA. And I imagine Paul Gilbert has done one amazing job and being very proud of giving the shining light for Sam Coulson.