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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Allvey


Into The Stratosphere - Alex Betty - Guitarist Released September 2022 on C.D format. Reviewed by Rockin Rebel 12th December 2022. Into The Stratosphere, Alex Betty from Milton Keynes, UK-Rock -N- Roll - instrumentalist Listening to so much music CDs from all genres of rock n roll. Sometimes we miss the unique sounds and instruments that make that song great. Alex Betty brings that back to mind with this belting soundtrack to the great songs and melodies we know and love. Alex brings his own sound and style to every track, This self-taught guitarist is following on from his debut cd You Asked for It in 2019 . Now he delights us with 18 brand new recordings from his home studio in Milton Keynes. sit back, put your feet up, turn the lights down low and let your ears enjoy this truly great instrumental album. Telstar,(joe Meek) This must be one of the world’s best known instrumental tracks. Alex plays his version with an awesome backing and the sound of that Strat guitar is just sublime. a great opening track. Pipeline (Brian Carman - Bob Spickard) This well-known surf track was first recorded back in 1962 by the Chanteys. It’s probably best known from the 1979 film The Wanderers. Alex really does capture the sounds of this track. this is as close to the original you will hear with enough to make it sound current. Happy Days (Jim Haas) This version of the classic tv show will have you up singing into your hairbrush. "Goodbye Grey Skies Hello Blue" is what will happen when this version is on. the guitar work is just awesome. Nice to hear such a classic being brought back to life with a newer respectful sound of a great guitarist. I Love How You Love Me (Barry Mann) I’m sure you are aware of the saying "he's making that guitar talk”? And Alex sure is on this one. You can feel the emotion in this version coming from his soul through to his fingers and out of the fender Strat. Great version. Walk On By (Hayes) Originally released in 1961 by Leroy van Dyke. Tells the story about a forbidden romance and not to engage him if he passes her by. This one will have you joyfully singing along to this rendition of a classic. Alex playing all the instruments which blend like coffee and cream. Story of my Life (Bacharach-David) Happiness spills out has this song goes along. Backing vocals may only be a Bom Bom Bom and a whistle here and there but combine them all together with a brilliant guitar sound and you have this tune that you will whistling all day. Great version of another classic. A Girl Like You(Jerry London) Recorded by Cliff Richard in 1961 with the Shadows. Hank Marvin is a big on influence on Alex’s style of playing and clearly inspires him to reach a quality and sound worthy of recording for us to enjoy. The time spent practicing these tracks to perfection again shows the dedication from this Artist. Dawn Patrol Dawn Patrol is an instrumental by The Atlantics, an Australian surf rock band founded in 1961. The band's claim to fame was as Australia's most successful of the genre. Most well known for their classic hit, "Bombora". Alex provides us with a wonderful rendition of a track I have personally never heard. Let it Be Me (Gilbert Bécaud) Starting out as French composition in 1955 before being reworked into the song we know and love today. The English language version used lyrics by Manny Curtis. The Everly Brothers released it in 1959. Beautifully performed once again with a touch of his own style making it personal to him and loved by us. The End of The World (Arthur Kent) A crossover pop song not very often heard sung in today’s rock n roll scene. But it's bought back to life on this album as a great instrumental. Skeeter Davis did the original and I feel sure she would be proud to sing along to this version. Runaway (Shannon-crook) What can we say about this one? Well, it’s a favourite of everybody and will once again have you singing along. Superb guitar once again. When the track was first written the title was Little Runaway. Alex shows great ability and highlight Crook's unique instrumental sound. Put on your Dancing Shoes (Welch-Bennet) Second track from the Cliff Richards and the Shadows song box. A great toe tapper from Alex with some great picking from them fender strings. Recorded originally 1963 for the second soundtrack and movie Summer Holiday. Pocket full of Rainbows (Wise-Weisman) Elvis classic love song from the 1960 movie G.I. Blues. A very different feel to this track and clearly hear Alex adding his style and rhythm to a beautiful tune When the Girl in Your Arms (Tepper-Bennet) What a beautiful choice of song to highlight his passion of the fender Stratos sound. It’s so relaxing and peaceful listening to them notes coming through the speaker. Ferry Across the Mersey (Gerry Marsden) A great rendition of a great song. Again, not very often played as an instrumental but Alex carries it of wonderfully. "Mersey" refers to the river Mersey in northwest England, which flows into the Irish Sea at Liverpool. The Mersey Ferry runs between Liverpool and Birkenhead and Seacombe before going on the Wirral Peninsula. Hoots Mon (Harry Robinson) My favourite track on the album, just because of the trickiness of the vocal parts being played on guitar. For a self-taught guy he does them well. First performed by Lord Rockingham's XI in 1958, Don’t forgot your part when it comes around "It's a braw, bricht, moonlicht nicht.". Great version, Alex. Cavatina (Stanley Myers) Simply Wonderful. Words cannot express what the artist as put into the song. Playing through his fingers, the artists that have inspired him. written for the film The Walking Stick in1970 and popularised as the theme from The Deer Hunter. Midnight Blues (Charlie Rich) This song is probably the most sung songs on the scene today, a great stroller and floor filler, also a great track to finish a brilliant album. Congratulations ALEX BETTY. For only his second album Alex as compiled a great selection of songs to show his talents as a solo guitarist. Of course, he uses some high-quality backing tracks to play along to, but you lose yourself in his songs to even notice. The guitar sound is superb. After speaking to Alex he told me that he had recorded, produced, edited everything himself. He learned all this during lockdown whilst suffering from a nerve issue in his arm that affected his fingers. He plays a Fender Strat, 59 reissue, with period correct pick-ups, tremolo, switchgear. This is a great album and deserves some recognition on the airwaves and events. I sincerely hope we hear and see more from ALEX BETTY!

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