“The best guitarist you’ve never heard of, Ireland’s Joe Hodgson”.
“As soon as I started playing Apparitions I was totally blown away”.
“Hodgson’s guitar–whether concocting gorgeous melodies or delivering serious shred–keeps you riveted throughout. It was clear to me that this guy I’d never heard of before was a brilliantly adventurous player, right up there with the likes of Satriani and Vai”.
“I suggest you go listen to the Apparitions album right now, and start spreading the word about Joe Hodgson to all the other six-string freaks in your orbit”.
Apparitions – By Joe Hodgson, is a 15 cut, full-length monster of an album and that is only just scratching the surface to put it lightly. The Northern Irish guitarist is a blues, rock and jazz fusion wonder influenced by the likes of Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore, with his own modern touch that keeps up with the virtuoso chops of the day as well. On this album he shows an amazing skill set for both songwriting and playing”.
“He fits fright in with the Satriani’s and the Vai’s of the world”.
“Mesmerizing slinkiness of the guitar lines…an album very difficult to fault”.
“The magic of the music on Joe Hodgson’s Apparitions, should not be taken anything but seriously by fans of guitar virtuosos and guitar gods alike, from Gary Moore to Steve Vai”.
“Full on virtuoso with some astonishing playing”.
“One of the best releases of 2020”.
“awe-inspiring debut release…this is a modern day masterpiece”.
“The way he plays guitar is like nothing I’ve heard before”.
“The moving melodies are made with such undeniable greatness as he gives us a masterclass on how to properly engage in this fantastic instrument”.
“‘Fly Your Flag’ from the mind-bending talent of Irish blues-rock guitarist Joe Hodgson is one of the best songs from 2020. He has taken a genre he loves and has morphed it into his own, flipping it around and will probably inspire generations after him. This is music that is truly special and needs to be listened to by young and old”.
“The mind-blowing guitar skills of this Irish gent are a sound to behold”.
“Tracks take off like wildfire and it gets harder and harder to describe what planet Hodgson is on with his freakishly great ideas”.
“‘Till the Last Breath’ is a majestic moment”.
“Apparitions easily falls into my 2020 top ten releases with just a few spins to make that call”.
“The chops of Hodgson are impeccable, it leaves a lot open to salivate on, and the original songwriting lives up to the playing”.
“This album contains not one filler track to these ears, it is actually the complete opposite as Hodgson smokes it all up like an incendiary inferno of jubilance and melancholy in one fell swoop”.
“An album for the deepest appreciators of guitar instrumentals and beyond with its other musically illustrious benefits”.
His guitar trills running up and down the neck of the instrument are the sounds of a true master at work. These kinds of solos are desperately missing in the modern music of today”.
Joe Hodgson has an innate ability to tell a story without the use of words. The wailing guitar reaches deep into the listener’s soul to pull out hope out of the darkness.
“A double A-side of guitar mastery”.
“Joe Hodgson is a man with the ability to express his deepest feelings using little more than his guitar and quality production”.
“It would be unfair to lump him into any one genre as Joe seems to be able to take the guitar anywhere that he sees fit”.
“The range of Joe Hodgson amazes me…Apparitions is an experience to be listened to from start to finish”.
“Perfectly crafted guitar riffs emote the ache within his soul”.
“A virtuoso display of carefully controlled lead guitar, an explosion of exotic scales and runs across the high end of the fretboard”.
“Lightning speed, jaw-dropping runs…whizzing around the guitar with consummate ease”.
“Mellifluous lead guitar work”.
”The music builds to a towering emotional climax that tugs hard on the heart strings is testament to his skill as both guitarist and composer”.
“The desolation and tragic sadness of Till The Last Breath. Here, Hodgson’s delicate and sensitive slide guitar work shows a different side to his art, one ultimately concerned with deep expression of heartfelt and complex emotion. It feels like the track that has the most personal meaning for him, as every note seems to be exude real feeling”.
“Overall, this is a stellar collection of instrumentals from a virtuoso guitarist and composer. Joe Hodgson’s guitar skills alone make it worth a listen, but it’s the sheer musical variety and emotional range that make Apparitions such a strong album. It deserves to be heard and appreciated by many”.
“Apparitions is a joy to behold. Changeable, wide-ranging, fantastically composed and delivered, and perfect for both fans of technicality and technique and those who just want to groove along to its cool moves and addictive grooves alike”.
“Apparitions covers a hell of a lot of ground, building plenty of fascinating sonic architecture to marvel at as it goes along”.
“It’s an album full of technical guitar work, but fundamentally there is passion and emotion behind every note. Whether this album is crossing into heavier hard rock territory or softer areas of blues and jazz, at no point does it ever feel like a mere exercise in virtuosity”.
“‘Till The Last Breath’ is a beautifully melancholic piece with a tone similar to the second half of Layla”.
“This album is a highly enjoyable collection of songs which portray a superbly skilled musician with the ability to adapt his style to a wide range of instrumentals”.
“There’s an old adage in the guitar world about the best practitioners being able to make their instrument sing, and Joe Hodgson really does serenade you with his stings. There’s clearly so much emotion and spirit put in to his playing that he comes across like a soul singer who translated his voice onto the fretboard. He makes guitar music that can be enjoyed by more than just theory nerds and shred fans, but by anyone looking for instrumental music that gives you a glimpse into someone’s soul.”
“A phenomenal guitar player. In addition to a high technical skill level, on these latest tracks he demonstrates musical versatility and eclecticism”.
“Hodgson can really “shred” on guitar, but he does so artfully, enhancing the song’s sentimental passions rather than merely jamming out”.
“It’s heavy duty stuff, both musically and in terms of the emotions it evokes”.
“Joe Hodgson is a fantastic guitarist and lets his music do the talking”.
“You can really appreciate how good this music is by how catchy the melodies are even without any lyrics”.
“Apparitions is quite frankly, a masterpiece on every level”.
“Delicate, detailed melodies”.
“Operating at a high mental and technical level, this is a man who knows how to obtain great guitar tone and knows how to use it”.
“A performance that progresses from simple and reflective, to outright impressive and beautifully hypnotic”.
“Fantastic, beautifully performed – organic yet crisp and clean enough to allow listeners to really turn up the volume and escape into the moment”.
“It’s a powerful piece of music, and it completely sweeps you away – so much so that it feels like a lyrically guided song; there’s no uncertainty as to the heartache at its core, and this is what it connects to within the listener”.
“This is the artist and composer lost in the moment, the guitarist at one with the guitar, and it feels partly reminiscent of a simpler time, partly of a genuinely new and exciting artistry”.
“Brilliant, an authentically new take on a classic format, experimental and emotive, intense and immersive; a pleasure to let play and instantly recognisable when all is said and done”.
“The arrangement is eclectic, and consistently showcases Hodgson as a faultlessly capable and passionate guitarist – never utilising quirks or volume to draw attention, but revelling naturally within the creative, expressive space; in a way that truly connects”.
“Stunning guitar work with a euphoric level of energy”.
Featuring some of the very best guitar-work and melodic story-telling around, with organic rock soundscapes to support and enhance the mood of each track, Apparitions proves as nostalgic as it is refreshing, and continuously begs for you to turn up the volume.
“Till The Last Breath follows on beautifully, mellowing the space around you with seductive bends and hypnotic chord progressions. A beautifully delicate piece, with a strong impact thanks to its contrast with what comes before”.
The arrangement is eclectic, and consistently showcases Hodgson as a faultlessly capable and passionate guitarist – never utilising quirks or volume to draw attention, but revelling naturally within the creative, expressive space; in a way that truly connects.
“With such a high level of playing, you won’t find yourself missing the lyric component on these tracks. These instrumentals stand proudly and impressively on their own”.
“Hodgson truly uses his guitar like a voice”.
“Till the Last Breath is a light handed, melancholy showing of restraint and vulnerability”.
“Texturally brilliant and ever-evolving, an ardent display of a lifelong culmination of skill. Apparitions is brilliant instrumental work from Joe Hodgson”.
“Joe Hodgson knows a thing or two about painting pictures with sound”.
“Apparitions is an evocative, dynamic, and expressive work that needs no lyrics to resonate with the soul.”
“Rock-tinged music that creates complex imagery with sound alone, and seamlessly blends in a multitude of genres into one cohesive, flowing composition”.
“This track is the gold standard when it comes to techniques, the ability to place them in the song correctly, and to really build on a foundation that is beautifully written and mixed down perfectly”.
“Joe is a musician who can paint pictures and tells stories with his guitar”.
“At times, you can hear some great lead techniques from guitar veterans like Joe Satriani, Eric Clapton and Eric Johnson, but Joe still very much instills his own versatile style”.
“Energetic and catchy, yet melodic and forward-thinking…A great balance of soaring lead tones and well-constructed harmonies, going for a distinctive twist”.
“What I love about Joe’s guitar playing is that it is articulate and stylish, yet his sound can be quite restrained when it needs to be. In other words, there is no senseless noodling like some virtuoso guitarists do, but rather an accomplished piece of music that favours musicality over mere technical chops”.
These songs actually set the bar higher, not only in terms of production excellence, but also when it comes to the artist’s creativity and vision”.
“It’s all about taking those blues rock licks to the next level and spicing it all up with some zesty hot sauce!”
“His sound doesn’t just fall under the umbrella of traditional rock, but it features so many production nuances and a very innovative feel, which truly adds something magical to the sound of this release. Think of it as a perfect bridge between the old school and the new guard, going for a one-of-a-kind sound”.
“catchy melodies that are delivered with visceral intent, truly setting the bar higher”.
“Where excellent guitar tones meet great songwriting halfway”.
“It is not a stretch to say that his style could be described as “timeless. His music does, in fact, tip the hat off to a long-standing range of musical traditions, ranging from the impact of blues to the groove of funk and the sophistication of jazz. All of these genres collide beautifully, creating an incredibly detailed and personal sound, which serves as Joe’s personal calling card”.
“This release is a musical journey, and every track has something different to offer”.
“Till The Last Breath” has influences as diverse as soft rock and country guitar playing, with some truly amazing slide parts, adding a dreamy texture to Joe’s performance”.
“There is a hint of Van Halen and maybe Buckethead here, showcasing Joe’s ability to stand next to some of the true greats of the guitar”.
“Joe is the embodiment of all you could ever want from a guitar player: melody, energy, vibe, groove – you name it, he’s got it!”
“A truly amazing instrumental rock record”.
“What I find so impressive about his work is his ability to truly feel the raw nature of what music is about; to really grasp the sounds of his guitar on a level that true passion stems from”.
“He is a virtuoso on the stringed instrument. I am a Joe Hodgson fan and ‘Apparitions’ is a pure joy to listen to, so I say guitars UP and I salute you Joe”.
“Joe proves he is a dynamite guitar player and musical force”.
“The quality, precision and professionalism on this 15-track recording is impeccable!”.
“Joe absolutely kills it on guitar letting everyone know just who he is. Bringing a song to life through skillful playing is what this Irish guitarist is all about! Joe’s mighty guitar is the star of the show here and nothing that will make you go BOO on ‘Apparitions’”.
“Hodgson seems to have mastered the craft of less is more and talent is everything”.