Run Neil Run - Sisters Euclid - Reviews


Run Neil Run


Guitarist Kevin Breit Dazzles With His Quirky Brilliance
"Many tribute releases tend to suffer from an excess of adulation, often reducing them to the level of sing-a-longs by professionals. Instrumentalists tend to be less hidebound by these considerations, and that’s the case with
Run Neil Run, where the Sisters Euclid profoundly re-think 10 Neil Young tunes by twisting them in an off-kilter direction.

"It doesn’t disappoint, and the reason is the guitar pyrotechnics of Kevin Breit, the looming presence behind Sisters Euclid. Breit has an encyclopedic grasp of all riffs - guitar or otherwise - that have come along over the last 80 years. His own ideas are quirky, adventurous, expansive, and invariably touched by Blues, Rock, Latin, Country, Pop and Classical influences. It’s all filtered through his distinctive style, so something emerges that is always intriguing.

"If Breit’s name seems familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard him on an album or two by k.d. lang, Cassandra Wilson, or Norah Jones. Sisters Euclid also feature Ian DeSouza on bass, Gary Taylor on drums, and Rob Gusevs on keyboards, and they’ve developed a cult following at Toronto’s Orbit Room.

"This is a sensational listen. Much of the credit is due Breit who stretches out the melodies with his nifty slide, and then creates a series of moods that slowly build into a climax.

"There’s a raft of well-known Young tunes like
Southern Man, Harvest Moon, Ohio, Cinnamon Girl and Heart Of Gold. The latter is absolutely entrancing, and easily the best of the bunch. I really admired how SE handled such lesser known songs like Love Is A Rose and Needle And The Damage Done.

"If you’re looking for the widest possible range of sounds that can be culled from six strings, and if you also want to be transfixed by an interpretative houdini, then let Kevin Breit and crew do the trick."

- Gary Tate
October, 2006 


"With a program of nine songs by Neil Young, Sisters Euclid offers a tribute that blends jazz and blues with hard-hitting rock. Elements from Young’s days with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young show up, but the emphasis leans toward his country blues lines.

"Sisters Euclid, which is based in Toronto, is Kevin Breit’s band. The group's connection with Neil Young runs deeper than an appreciation for his folk and country appetite. Young was born in Toronto. This tribute album honors a native son who has gained worldwide fame for his fiery guitar as well as his original songwriting.

Love is a Rose comes with a comfortable country twang, while Ohio meanders through lonely city streets, and Cinnamon Girl simmers gently in the shade of a majestic and aging tree. Breit’s guitar interprets each selection with moody impressions that flow seamlessly around a central theme. Heart of Gold lets the band drive uninterrupted on a long-distance journey through space and time while Breit slides in and out of focus. His electric guitar exhausts the impression long before closing up, so the band repeats with an endless scenario.

"Long May You Run rambles slowly over a country texture that blends folk and blues into a melancholic impression. The testament that Sisters Euclid offers Neil Young comes straight from the heart with empathetic clarity."

- Jim Santella
All About Jazz
September, 2006 


"Sisters Euclid, a Toronto-based group, release an instrumental tribute to Neil Young next week. It's called Run Neil Run, it's bluesy, it's got great big guitar riffs, and it's soulful. I've talked about tribute records before and how in most cases the covers are slavish interpretations of the originals. That's not the case here. These guys definitely take liberties with some of Neil Young's biggest hits and i admire that. For example, the original version of Ohio is just over three minutes. Sisters Euclid's version is over seven minutes long.

"Sisters Euclid are Kevin Breit, who plays guitar, Ian DeSouza on bass, drummer Gary Taylor and Rob Gusevs plays keys and Hammond B3. For the last two years, these four have been rocking the Orbit Room on College Street. They've released a couple of records but this one is set to make the most noise.

"If anyone who has albums by
Cassandra Wilson, Norah Jones or kd lang looks at the liner notes of those records they'll see the name of one of the members of Sisters Euclid. Kevin Breit has played with all those artists. Also on the most recent album by one of my favourite singers, Peru's Susana Baca. He's an incredibly talented, innovative guitarist. If you put all the records he's appeared on together, you'll hear blues, jazz, roots, rock, strains of classical Indian and Middle Eastern styles in his playing."

- Errol Nazareth
Metro Morning, CBC Radio
August, 2006 


"People who adore the ragged simplicity of Neil Young and also love adventurous, guitar-based instrumental music should definitely check out this tribute to the Can-Am rock legend. Sisters Euclid, the Toronto-based quartet composed of guitarist Kevin Breit, keyboardist Rob Gusevs, bassist Ian De Souza, and drummer Gary Taylor, have recorded wordless versions of nine of Young’s most famous songs. Strangely enough, unless you’re really paying attention, you might not even recognize them as Neil Young tunes, because often the original arrangements get totally turned upside down.

"The CD kicks off with a brilliant take on
Southern Man, where Gusevs’s Hammond B3 organ delivers a verse of the Confederate anthem Dixie before Breit’s overdriven guitar blasts in where Young’s cutting lyrics would lay waste to the racist. Helpless is another showcase for Breit’s emotional range and technical dexterity, as he effortlessly plucks and bends the strings to conjure Young’s simple and beautiful melodies. (No wonder Norah Jones latched on to him as her main touring and recording guitarist.) Love Is a Rose gets a jazz-funk workout, while The Needle and the Damage Done is given one of the heavier makeovers, with Breit’s searing slide-guitar and Taylor’s intense drumming propelling Young’s damning indictment of heroin abuse.

"The quartet takes an experimental approach on
Cinnamon Girl, which is completely unrecognizable from Young’s riff-driven original, and also makes it tricky to mine the melodic vein in Heart of Gold. They’re an eclectic bunch, those Sisters Euclid, and in their musical universe nothing is obvious. But you will have an interesting time."

- Steve Newton
Georgia Strait
August 17, 2006 


"One of the central, life-giving features of Neil Young’s music is the constant push and pull between the instruments and Young’s wavering voice. Take his voice out of the mix and you’re left with some nice chord progressions. An album of nine instrumental versions of some of Young’s most famous songs, then, seems like the perfect recipe for disaster.

"Sisters Euclid must have given this conundrum some thought when they recorded Run Neil Run because, rather than taking the easy road and turning in a bunch of tunes where the biggest change is transposing the melody from voice to a guitar or keyboard, the Sisters have come at the songs with their heads in an improvisational space, using the original songs as a blueprint to build something of their own. Sometimes the source material is still recognizable, as in
Helpless and Long May You Run, but more often the songs become something completely different.

"The Sisters’ takes on Young’s songs are not always successful -
Heart of Gold doesn’t hold up as an amped-up jazz fusion piece - but most of the time the conversions work. Hands down, the best moment on the album comes on Young’s scathing anthem, Southern Man, where the Sisters add a little something extra by layering in the melody for the Civil War ballad Dixie Land."

- Eden Munro
Vue Weekly
August, 2006