Tom Chaffee and the Saturnalia
self titled

review = B

Tom Chaffee can play guitar. That much is obvious a few seconds into the first track of this self titled, independently produced debut. Good thing too. Instrumental music is no place for posers. True, Chaffee doesn’t do it all on his own, he’s got some help. His band, Saturnalia is a no frills, bass and drums rhythm section that lays a rock solid foundation for Chaffee’s brick house of six string fun. And although he’s a master craftsman of the fretboard, Chaffee also knows how to help himself with smoke and mirrors when he chooses - playing both rhythm -and- lead guitar on many of the tracks thanks to the magic of multi-track recording. No knock on Chaffee. After all, the guy wrote eight of the album’s nine songs and knows exactly what they should sound like. Laying down both parts gives Chaffee the opportunity to make that happen. And he does. Example - "Chickie Pick." With a signal processed lead guitar dancing excitedly in the spotlight, Chaffee’s revved up, rockin’ hippie-fried-funk rhythm work is a big part of the tune’s success. Taking one or the other out of the mix would be a buzz kill. Primarily a rocker, Chaffee colors his soundscapes with shades of blue, showcasing fluid technique on both electric and acoustic slide guitars. This is a solid effort from a talented new artist.