Power of Metal.dk Review

Paul Gilbert
Stone Pushing Uphill Man
Style: Instrumental Hard Rock
Release date: 18 August, 2014
Playing time: 42:27

Paul Gilbert is simply something else. Unlike it's predecessor, this latest offering is an almost entirely instrumental album, the only exception being the title track at the end of the album. Taking a step in a different direction, this album has got a lot of covers. From Elton John to James Brown to K.D Lang. The all important phrasing is exemplified so well here, because where there would normally be vocals Paul replaces words with notes that hit band on where they are on the originals. I can think of no finer example of this than 'Goodbye Yellow Brick Road', and I would LOVE to see him go on stage with Elton John and add his own shredding contribution between verses.

There are two reasons musicians stay revered within their field. One is because of what they have accomplished regardless as to whether or not they manage retain their talent, and many do not. The other is because they have achieved a lot and are still just as good now as they were then. There are countless examples of the former, but the latter is unfortunately rarer to come across. Paul Gilbert, as any thinking person will know, falls into the second category.

Though well known for his speed, Pauls strength is his phrasing - making the lead guitar sit so perfectly over the music no matter what technique he is using. It is a naive, ignorant person that considers Paul a master simply because of his speed. There's so much more to his playing and this album is a great example of that. It's not all about how fast you can alternate pick a string skipping arpeggio - not that any of his albums are.

The opening track, one of Pauls own, is appropriately entitled 'Working For The Weekend' and it has a classic montage feel to it. From the catchy riff to the simple addition of Paul shouting 'Hey!', this sounds like it could be the soundtrack to the build up for a race or something a fighter pilot would have on instead of mission control.

To sum up, on this album Paul demonstrates that in paying homage to some of his favourite singers, he has an ability to mix his own style with that of the artist he is covering in fresh, interesting ways that stay true to his own form as well as that of the original songs. This is how all covers should be - stay true to the original but be original and distinctive yourself. Like Testament did when they covered Iron Maidens 'Powerslave'.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable album. I look forward to him touring it. Find out when at

Also, Mr Big are touring Europe this Autumn. It may be the last to feature Pat Torpey following his unfortunate diagnosis of Parkinsons disease. Go see it.


01. Working for the Weekend
02. Back in the Saddle
03. I Got the Feelin'
04. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
05. Why Don't We Do it in the Road
06. Shock Absorber
07. Purple without all the Red
08. Murder By Numbers
09. My Girl
10. Wash Me Clean
11. Stone Pushing Uphill Man
Label: Mascot Label Group
Distribution: Warner Music (Denmark)
Reviewed by: Matt Fabi
Date: 25 August, 2014
Website: www.paulgilbert.com