Brian Kahanek: One True Thing

TGP CD Reviews

By Brian Scherzer

Brian Kahanek, A longtime TGP member, has released his newest CD, One True Thing. Kahanek (the musician) has a wide range of musical credits that include recording guitar and mixing for such artists as Tim Mcgraw, multi-platinum Latin group RBD and Virgin recording artist, Betzi. When you add in that Kahanek also has numerous credits as an ADR recordist and mixer, including Pixar’s Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, and Peter Jackson’s King Kong, what you are left with is an incredibly talented and diverse artist.

One True Thing is Kahanek’s third CD release and is, by far, the most difficult to pin down in terms of genre. Just when you think you have a sense of where Brian is heading, a new flavor appears in the tracks on this recording. The material, written by Kahanek, covers a wide spectrum of styles. The tracks are unpredictable in the best sense of drawing the listener’s attention. From the very first track, Bottle Rocket, it was clear that Brian wanted varied musical textures and dynamics to stand out. He succeeded! Elements of the first cut bring forth whispers of Jeff Beck, but it’s all Kahanek and nothing but Kahanek. This isn’t a “I want to sound like this guy” album. Rather, you walk away from the listening experience with a sense that Brian refuses to allow himself to be painted by a single brush. Brian features both his guitar playing and his vocals in this recording. The musicians who join him are deeply talented and help to bring a strong pulse to the tunes presented. The production qualities of the CD are excellent, with no instrument pushing out the others and all blending well, while filling their own acoustic space.

Kahanek did not set out to present listeners with a fireworks display of his guitar playing. This is not a “showoff” recording. It is a selection of songs that appear to speak from the soul. Yes, there ARE some guitar fireworks to be found in the tunes, but it was obvious that Brian is more about the tune than accolades for being the next “guitar wizard”. There are layers of guitar on some tracks, including some incredible sounding acoustic playing where you can almost see the wood of the guitar if you close your eyes! Effects are used tastefully throughout on the electric tracks, sometimes leaving me with a desire to hear more of the pure guitar/amp/hands that I have heard on past Kahanek CDs. Yet, the interplay of guitar textures and willingness to allow dynamics tell the story make this CD a joy to listen to. By the end of the CD I decided that Kahanek is not “just” a guitar player and vocalist. He is an artist who writes great songs and this CD is well worth the price of admission!

To hear soundclips or purchase, click HERE.