Album Review: 16 Stories Bob Semanchik

Matt DiGiovanni

In his latest musical offering, 16 Stories, Bob Semanchik offers listeners a diverse selection of tracks, each telling a different story sonically. With tracks ranging in feel from vintage 70’s to a modern guitar driven pop-rock hit in the same vein as John Mayer, the album manages to be diverse while always staying true to Bob’s roots. One can expect to hear guitar shining through the mix tastefully in a unique way throughout the entire album.

“It All Comes Back To You” starts the album off by introducing a bit of the dynamics that listeners should expect from Bob. The vocals in the verse are reminiscent of a Mark Knopfler sound, while the transition into the chorus brings out more of a Sting like tone. The track definitely eases listeners into album, and it kicks things up a notch with the first guitar solo of the album, bringing a late 70’s, early 80’s rock ballad to mind. Showing the album’s diversity immediately, “Leaning on the Edge of Forever” utilizes a modified Bossa Nova to start and then transitions into a double time rock riff.

Throughout the album, Bob showcases his influences. From slide guitar and Duane Allman on tracks like “The Sun Will Shine Tomorrow,” to a little bit of a Steeler’s Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle With You” feel on “It’s In the Way,” as well as the prior mentioned vocal sounds. In addition, the jazz roots in Bob’s playing are always present in some form or another, offering up consistency in an album that stylistically varies so much.

While this album won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, songs like “The Power of Love” with its rock-funk-soul combo and the deep closing track “Hope” definitely help to draw listeners in. Musicians and non-musicians alike will enjoy “16 Stories” comprehensive collection of genres and instrumentation, particularly the retro throwbacks like the various keyboards (both organ tones and synthesizers).

Want to give this album a listen? Head to http://www.bobguitar.com/cd.htm where you will find an online player as wells as links to purchase.