Roland Nipp

Little Victories (Independent)

Roland Nipp knows tasty lead guitar when he hears it, and he hears a lot of it on Steely Dan records. On his Web site, the Richmond musician points to the work of session players such as Larry Carlton, Jeff Baxter, and Jay Graydon for their respective solos on the Steely Dan tracks “Kid Charlemagne”, “My Old School”, and “Peg”. It’s no wonder his own playing style tends to be thoughtful, precise, and tasty as hell.

It’s been 10 years since Nipp blew guitar fans away with his self-written, self-played, self-produced instrumental debut, The Blue Room. That homemade disc showed him to be a picker with a great gift for melodies and an ability to convey a wide range of emotions on guitar. His new CD, Little Victories, is another completely DIY project, although this time he’s worked more keyboards into the mix, as well as accordion and sax. His guitar work is still the main attraction, of course, and whether he’s going the soaring Satriani route on the poignant opener, “Just Like Going Home”, or bringing a Rush-type vibe to the prog-tinged “Shine!”, it’s obvious Nipp puts an incredible amount of time and effort into his work.

Now if only he could get Donald Fagen to write some lyrics and sing a few lines.

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Doug Rottman

Jul 24, 2009 at 9:30am

I've been a fan of Roland Nipp's music since receiving "The Blue Room" CD as a gift about 9-10 years ago, but rediscovered it about 2-3 years ago. I listen to music pretty much solely in my basement office, using a 300 disc CD changer set to shuffle play, and while working heard this great guitar riff that I thought was David Gilmour, or maybe an instrumental part from Dire Straits.
Investigating on the LED readout showed "Roland Nipp-The Blue Room" & I was again, hooked to the clarity and heartfelt purpose in the songs. Nothing showy or pretentious; just great, clean electric guitar from a musician who is clearly a master of the six string, composition and mixing.
"Little Victories" is a great addition to Roland's bank of works, and I'm proud to add it to my 280 plus CDs in my (admittedly picky) collection of recorded music worth listening to. I highly recommend this CD to any aficionado of classic rock and great musicianship!
Doug Rottman,
Grand Rapids Michigan