Geoffrey Castle - electric and acoustic violin
John Schussler - electric and acoustic violin, guitar, bouzouki, saz, piano, dovyanka, cedar flute, zarb, dumbek, udu, doira, bendir, percussion
Garey Shelton - bass
Ben Smith - drum kit
Mohammed Shaibu - djembe, talking drum, percussion
Tor Dietrichson - congas, bongos, timbales
Jovino Santos-Neto - piano
Eric Tingstad - guitar
Jami Sieber - cello
Dan Tyack - peda-bro, pedal steel
Album cover by Don Barnett (www.donbarnett.com
REVIEWS OF NEW WORLD
Gary Bannister, 5/4 Magazine:
"Much more than an exposition of the violin, the Guarneri Underground is a world's fair of music that tantalizes with its sounds, sights, and smells. This group is a native market in a big city, a bazaar by a pyramid where incense lingers in the air. The musicians switch from fez to sombrero to top hats as they unearth the beauties of North African, Spanish, Irish and classical forms. ... With so many groups playing at rather than with world music, it's refreshing to hear a concept that is so unified. The violinists really understand how versatile the instrument is and are fearless in casting it in so many diverse settings. Wow! Did this really come from Seattle?"
Matt Rosenberg, Seattle Magazine:
"What's drawing him, as well as a loyal following of music lovers from the over-30 set? The Guarneri Underground, a group that just might be the best band you never heard of. ... The exquisitely tailored recordings on New World reflect global influences and are as likely to delight your uber-hip Belltown friends as your Aunt Helen from Schenectady."
Roberta Penn, Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
"... The Guarneri Underground, a Northwest group led by multi-instrumentalist John Schussler and violinist Jeffrey Sick ... plays an evocative blend of blues, jazz, Celtic, and Indian music. The six-piece group's self-titled CD was one of the most interesting efforts in the area last year."
Chris Lunn, Victory Review:
"The two electric violins of Jeffrey Sick and John Schussler provide a delightful interplay and intriguing voicing. I love 'Take a Walk' which has a jaunty yet light dance motif with great drive provided by the bass of Gary Shelton and the drums of Ben Smith. 'Pacifying the Cat' is full and evocative like a classical movie theme, with Jamie Sieber's cello elegantly working against the bass drone while the violins take us upward. ... Well done..."
Paige La Grone, Amazon.com:
"In recent years violins have become hot in the hands of Natalie MacMaster, Alison Krauss, and legions of alternative country bands like Whiskeytown and Wilco, but the Guarneri Underground take the fiddle into a whole new arena. With New World, the Seattle duo of electric violinist Jeffrey Sick and multi-instrumentalist John Schussler make a compelling offering of modern jazz, blues, world, and New Age music. Where contemporaries suffer from trying to do too much at once, the Underground is largely successful. Dueling five- and six-string fiddles benefit from the additions of an eclectically beefy rhythm section, pedal steel, woodwinds, piano, and an array of percussive instruments. As a result, these original melodies rely on texture and form rather than merely a pretty tone. Courageous, efficient, and smart, New World is indicative of what's right with contemporary instrumental music."
Chris Nickson, The Rocket:
"World music might be defined as 'Local music that's not from around here' (thank you, Folk Roots), but there's one excellent album with strong worldly touches that is from around here--New World (self-released), by Seattle's GUARNERI UNDERGROUND. The album features the violin virtuosity of Jeffrey Sick, who used to be in the Skinwalkers (they also hail from Seattle). With John Schussler and some guests, he's created something that rocks hard and intelligently. Outstanding, and worthy of a wide hearing."
Jennifer Kallen, KGHP, Gig Harbor WA:
"I love the entire CD and will be playing it regularly on my show...just included it in my top 20 for New Age Voice magazine!"
Claude Flowers, Eastside Journal, Bellevue WA:
"Don't let the 'instrumental' classification scare you off--the band's songs are really catchy, sort of like Pink Floyd without the ringing guitars and breathless vocals. 'Pacifying the Cat' winds a wistful melody that arcs and floats as effortlessly as the feather in the opening scenes of 'Forrest Gump.'