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STERLING COOKE - ABOVE & BEYOND 1994 Xian Blues Rock Texas Shred DEMO TAPE

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STERLING COOKE - ABOVE & BEYOND 1994 Xian Blues Rock Texas Shred DEMO TAPE

Sterling Cooke
Above and Beyond
1994 (no label)
Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, USA

Sterling Cooke – Guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, drum programming, percussion

Side 1:

Above and Beyond
New Day
Fred Zeplin
Greenpeace
Walkin’ Shoes
Rainbow Bridge

Side 2:

Frankenstein
Kick Some Acts 
Reflections
Back to Cali
The End Times 

The cover looks like you are about to get a dose of Texas blues rock, but after the first intro song, you are treated to some 80s party metal. The liner notes state that the influence on this song is Van Halen and Ratt, and that fits. Well, if those bands did instrumentals for the Lord. The notes of other songs mention ZZ Top and Stevie Ray, so there is still that Texas blues influence as well. Yes, it is an all-instrumental guitar album, but Cooke seems to avoid the endless shredding that so many instrumental guitar albums beat to death. He focuses on writing songs and crafting melodies. I know that there was another album after this one in 1996 called Doxology as well. Cooke also recorded as Sterling Cooke Force in the 80s, but I haven’t tracked down those recordings yet. From what I can find online, Cooke didn’t feel those early recordings were very well done. Seems he overcame what ever caused that by the time he got to this album.