Despite the opinions in Blogcritics infamous and eternally expanding "Greatest Guitar Player" poll — Steve Morse is universally accepted as a guitar player's guitarist. As a matter of fact, he won Guitar Player Magazine's "Best Guitarist of the Year" award so many times, he was finally banned from the competition to allow others some recognition.
Morse started in the early 1970s with Dixie Dregs, a progressive rock band whose southern and country roots melded well with complex time signatures and jazz-fusion instrumental solos.
After the Dregs, Morse formed a trio and also played guitar for Kansas and Deep Purple, unfortunately --- long after both bands had passed their primes (if Kansas ever had a 'prime'?). Morse incredible guitar work was mostly used when they toured, since he could rip through a guitar solo like no one else in rock history.
In 1999, Morse signed with Magna Carta, a small indie label that continues to sign and produce the leftover remnants of 'progressive rock'; Magna Carta's management is a rare breed these days: they're more interested in music than money. They show a passion and love for the artists they produce, and the quality of their recordings is top notch.
(Their catalog is a treasure trove for the fan who thought progressive rock was obsolete!)
Shortly after Morse joined Magna Carta, someone suggested an idea for his first project on the new label:
How about a tribute, an 'homage' to all the guitar players that influenced this virtuoso baby-boomer?
Morse took the idea came up with yet another masterpiece: Major Impacts. The album could have been a dull 'tribute' in the hands of someone with less genius, but Morse tackled the project with his usual creativity, both as a composer and an instrumentalist.
The 11 songs on Major Impacts are 'inspired' by the artists Morse grew up listening to; Morse uses the original artist's guitar sound, style, chord approach, etc, but he never settles for a cheap imitation of the original art. Instead, he creates fresh, original compositions that stand on their own. One can hear a reference to the slide guitar of George Harrison --- or the fuzzy, raunchy chords of Keith Richards, or the jingly 12 string Richenbacher on Morse's tribute to the Byrds, but in every case, the genius, originality, and technical wizardry of Morse is always at the forefront. Morse is one of the few classically trained guitarists in rock, but he's also one of the most brilliant composers in any category of music.