Greensburg guitarist releases solo instrumental album, ‘Bold Horizon’ |

Greensburg guitarist releases solo instrumental album, ‘Bold Horizon’

Patrick Varine
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Drew Bentley, 50, of Greensburg plays a riff on his Tom Anderson guitar, one of nine used to record his solo album, "Bold Horizon."
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Drew Bentley, 50, of Greensburg plays a riff on his Tom Anderson guitar, one of nine used to record his solo album, "Bold Horizon."

Drew Bentley of Greensburg is a self-confessed “tone freak” when it comes to guitars.

“I think it took me a lot of time to find a voice that is unique and worthy of being recorded,” he said of the sounds on his first full-length solo outing, “Bold Horizon.”

Bentley, 50, who has taught guitar lessons at Bentley & Romito Professional Music Lessons locations in Penn Township and Irwin for the past 14 years, used nine guitars to record the 10 tracks on the album.

“This was a mission to create the best possible product I could,” said Bentley, who has also won the Monroeville Guitar Center’s “King of the Blues” contest multiple times. “The sheer amount of work that goes into producing a record is just unbelievable.”

It helps that Bentley has a recording studio built into his business’s Penn Township location, where he produced “Bold Horizon.” He shares the space with a dozen music teachers, some of whom helped record the album.

Having started playing guitar in 1977, Bentley can draw on four decades of playing as well as listening to music.

“I’ve always loved instrumental guitar music,” he said. “Guys like Steve Vai and Eric Johnson are who I aspired to be,” Bentley said.

He doesn’t consider himself a guitar “shredder,” though.

“I play fast, but my favorite players blend different styles, which is something I did with this record,” he said.

Considering he began learning guitar just as the bombastic sound of 1980s rock music began to soar in popularity, it’s no surprise to hear its echoes in the chunky, distorted guitar of songs like “Distant Worlds” and “Muscle Car.”

“The Van Halen thing is definitely there,” he said.

But Bentley’s interests include jazz and classical music as well.

“My practicing is very specific,” he said. “I try to practice from 9 a.m. to noon every day, and it covers everything. I play Bach, I play jazz melodies. I also play in a wedding band, so we do songs in every possible genre.”

That versatility is evident in the lithe, jazzy guitar lines that snake through songs like “Daydreams” and the title track.

WDVE 102.5 FM has played “Miles Apart,” which is a showcase for Bentley’s blues chops, and he said he’s received a lot of positive feedback on the hard-driving “Muscle Car.”

Currently, Bentley is scheduling dates and putting a band together to present the album’s songs in a live setting, while still making time to teach more than 60 guitar students.

He hopes fans of any genre can find something to like in “Bold Horizon.”

“It rocks, but it has the feel of the blues and a little of the sophistication of jazz,” Bentley said. “All musicians are trying to figure out who they are, and this record is who I am.”

“Bold Horizon” is available at Click here to listen to tracks from the album.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.