1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 2. With a Little Help from My Friends 3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds 4. Getting Better 5. Fixing a Hole 6. She's Leaving Home 7. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! 8. Within You, Without You 9. When I'm Sixty-Four 10. Lovely Rita 11. Good Morning, Good Morning 12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise) 13. A Day in the Life 14. Strawberry Fields Forever
Andy Timmons Band Plays Sgt. Pepper
Plays Sgt. Pepper by the Andy Timmons Band is splendid in so many ways it’s hard to know where to begin with a review. For one, this instrumental tribute to The Beatles isn’t one in which the listener has to be a Beatles’ fan (though I’m having trouble imagining such a thing) to enjoy the excellent musicianship on display here. Andy Timmons is a remarkable guitar player, and with his impressive musical journey, it’s not hard to see why.
Starting his musical path over three decades ago at the ripe age of 13 crafted his chops into the impressive musician he is today. He decided to be a session player so that he could delve into different genres and not be boxed in. Gigs like playing for Danger Danger, touring with Kiss and Alice Cooper, and working alongside of artists like Joe Satriani, Ted Nugent, and The Beach Boys are just a few of the events that speckle his colorful career to date.
The quality of sound on Plays Sgt. Pepper is stellar. The notes are crisp and clear, and the tone is perfect. The production team did an amazing job. For an instrumental album, the tone and effects have to be perfect, and they are. “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” starts out rocking and doesn’t stop. Timmons plays the songs so spot on it is hard not to anticipate John Lennon or Paul McCartney singing at any moment. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t little surprises along the way.
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” switches in the middle and goes into something any Beatles fan will appreciate. I won’t give it away. “When I’m Sixty-Four” has a bit of a country twang, while “Within You Without You” has that classic rock presence while still maintaining the hint of Indian culture it was originally created with. Listeners get the audible treat of bonus track “Strawberry Fields Forever” to close out the album.
Andy Timmons does a superb job of recreating this album, and let’s not forget to give credit where credit is most certainly due to the rest of the band. Mitch Marine on drums, violinist and engineer Rob Wechsler, Mike Daane on bass, and Dan Wojciechowski who also plays drums (he has been on all of Andy Timmons albums).
Plays Sgt. Pepper is a real musical feast. It pays tribute to one of the greatest bands in history tastefully and enjoyably. The only hint of any kind of downside I can see, and it really doesn’t even qualify as one, is that the music makes me want to hear the lyrics. But that’s not what this album is, so I can’t hold it against them. One thing’s for sure, I will certainly be checking out some more of Timmons and his bands’ work!