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.