Rullian | Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Metal/Punk: Instrumental Metal Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?

by Rullian

Melody oriented guitar rock instrumentals structured like pop tunes with a touch of progressive rock; features multi-layered-layered arrangements and textures that emphasize mood over technique.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Enter the Sudo
2:04 $0.99
2. Eastbound By Midnight
2:35 $0.99
3. 95 Percent Bliss
4:06 $0.99
4. Is This My Guitar or An Albatross?
3:06 $0.99
5. Almost Sunset
2:40 $0.99
6. Waiting For Ladean
5:29 $0.99
7. The Laundry Song
3:41 $0.99
8. Symphony in Cyan
9:44 $0.99
9. La Manzana De Mi Pastel
2:45 $0.99
10. Drunk Cat
3:27 $0.99
11. When Hot Runs Cold
4:24 $0.99
12. Rullian's Waltz (for Mom)
3:24 $0.99
13. Wmubyb
0:24 $0.99
14. The Big Soft
1:23 $0.99
15. The Ballad of Suicide Jack
3:20 $0.99
16. When Angels Get Their Wings
4:12 $0.99
17. Rullian
9:12 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"I'm not sure about that riff."

"I can't hear a bass line for that."

"You want me to sing over what?"


There comes a time when one must take matters into one's own fingers.

And for me, the time was late 1999.

After many years of writing pop tunes with lyrics, I had accumulated a collection of wayward melodies that didn't seem to fit anywhere.

And since I can't sing worth beans, I did what any self-indulgent lead guitarist would do-solo.

And, lord all mighty, did I solo. In fact, I soloed so damn much that eventually I had 25 songs with no lyrics.

These songs are pop rock-instrumentals. Most of them are simpler and more melodic than what the rock-guitar-instrumental genre is known for. I suspect this simplicity is a direct result of my love for pop music. I'm a sucker for a great pop tune-whether it be Sixpence's "Kiss Me" or Linda Eder's "Vienna." It's embarrassing, this affinity of mine. In fact, as I write this bio, I'm listening to "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac. I love this song-and it's basically just two chords all the way through (damn).

But, that said-I also must confess to a love of Vai and Satriani.

And Rush and Dream Theater.

And Leo Kotke and Jesse Cook.

Like a lot of musicians, I have an affinity for these virtuosos. And, their influence does come out in my playing ( least they try to come out!)

So here are 17 tracks-some that are quite melodic and poppy (Waiting For LaDean) and some that are slightly abrasive (Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?). There is also a 10-minute progressive-metal tune (Symphony in Cyan) and a semiclassical/semi-Irish piece performed almost entirely on viola (When Angels Get Their Wings).

I'm very proud of this CD-not just because it represents music that I've had in my head for years, but because a lot of the talent, whether it be in the form of musicianship, engineering, mastering or artistic, was donated. I was given a lot of help, and I'm grateful.

To continue this theme of philanthropy, all money from CD sales will go to charity. If, by some gesture of coolness, you decide to buy a CD, let me know where you prefer your donation go: the Salvation Army or the Humane Society.

I hope the CD reflects the fun I had putting it together. I also hope that, someday, I'll take matters into my own fingers again and record the remaining 8. We shall see.



to write a review


Versatile and exceptional guitarist, great melodies
A great disc with a LOT of music. Clearly metal influenced (somebody listens to a lot of Vai and Satriani) but not as over-the-top..and better cuz of it. Lots of varied styles-but still retains rockish feel. Almost Sunset is one of my girlfriend's favorite songs EVER. Very cool.

Wes Royer

And in all seriousness, this is the finest guitar album I have heard in years.
It is rare that I would do what I am about to do, but here we go:

Where did this Rullian character come from, who the hell does he think he is, where has he been, and why haven’t we more heard of him until now?

Steve Vai’s "Flex–able" and Joe Satriani’s "Surfing With Aliens" give birth.

Hot and sweaty sex on a guitar.

An absolute joy to listen to.

A guitarist that has fun blindly doodling across fretboards and styles, but seems entirely confident at what will end up on the DAT tape.

The guitarist of the decade crawls in from the underground.

And in all seriousness, this is the finest guitar album I have heard in years. And the irony of it is that Raoul Rañoa slapped this CD together as a bunch of music that vocalists just couldn’t use or follow. The result is a mixed salad of world music and American rock influences converging as one of the most unexpected, but most entertaining guitar albums I have ever heard. There is not one note on this disc that I cringe at or draw a yawn from. The first couple tracks had me captured.

Rañoa admits in the liner–notes that the music offered here would not have been so successful if it were not from all his friend musicians that contributed their portions. The amount of talent crammed onto this one piece of plastic is almost unnerving. And proceeds from the sale of this CD go to charity, the Redlands Humane Society in California.

Maybe it’s the fact that most of the seventeen songs on this album are shorter than your average guitar opus. Maybe it’s the diverse world mix of music, from Caribbean to jazz to blues to swing to metal to balladry (the appropriately titled "The Big Soft" and "When Angels Get Their Wings"). Maybe it’s the fact that I was not expecting this music from this far out of the blue. And maybe it’s because this album manages to be a guitar showcase and a melodic joyride at the same time. I mean, this guy is having fun here! He’s not trying to shred his way into your respect. He is simply playing some damn enjoyable music, and smartly.

Whatever the reason for this CD to sound as great as it does to my ears, if you enjoy instrumental guitar albums at all, then this is the next addition to your collection. And yes, this CD is appropriately available from’s vast collection of guitar albums. Now, let’s hear what he can do in a full band (with vocals), soon!

— by Wes Royer, the Editor

Christopher J. Kelter

Rullian's material is playful and thoughtful ...a joy to listen to
Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter
October 31, 2002

Raoul Ranoa, who has played with Funkin'A, Bad Poetry and Fries With That, is an instrumental guitarist who plays for fun rather than critical acclaim and recognition. Despite all that, Ranoa has managed to release a CD full of great songs and joyful spirit that is a pleasure to listen to.

"Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" features a diverse set of tracks; so diverse that literally no style is repeated on another track - and for once it works in the artist's favor. "Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" contains seventeen tracks with lengths varying from twenty-four seconds to nearly ten-minutes.

Here's a simple description of the songs: from the Egyptian melody/Latin percussion fusion of "Enter The Sudo" to the Joe Satriani-vibe of "Eastbound By Midnight" to the Southwest rock/blues-mania of "95 Percent Bliss" to buzzed frenzy of the title track this disc covers a lot of ground - and that's just the first four tracks!

Other great tracks include "The Laundry Song" and the epic "Symphony In Cyan."

While some of the songs echo their inspirational geneses a little too closely it's never for the worse as the songs are usually self-contained journeys with logical beginnings, middles, and endings (even if Ranoa doesn't think so).

At all times Rullian's material is playful and thoughtful - and a joy to listen to. It helps that I am a fan of instrumental guitar albums, but a lot of the stuff I get for review is rarely listened to more than the minimum number of times to write a decent review. "Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" is a wonderful exception to the reality of having too many CDs that fail to make it back into my regular listening rotation.

Fans of Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Danny Gatton, Michael Lee Firkins, and Joboj will like Rullian's "Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?"

"Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?" was produced, engineered and mixed by Raoul Ranoa and Maria Baglien. Rullian is Raoul Renoa on just about everything with assistance from Wayne Woodall on drums and percussion, James Folmer on piano and keyboards, Charlie Alvarez on bass, Chris Williams on bass, Ann Lasley on violin and viola, Dino Baldwin on bass, Joseph Quinones on congas, Maria Baglien on percussion, Izzy "Korn" Shane on screaming vocals, and Adrian Saint on rhythm guitar.


This is a delicate brew; folk, punk, jazz, metal, balkan, surf, rock ... i can go on like this for a while, without even get close to a accurate desciption, but whatever ...... it's a true pleasant musical joyride .

Christopher Kelter

“Chameleon In Disguise” begs to be heard. It’s an imaginative tour de force.
"Chameleon in Disguise" (Self-produced; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

I was lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to review Rullian’s debut CD, “Is This My Guitar or An Albatross?”, way back in 2002. As we move forward and 2006 comes to a close I am happy to have the pleasure of reviewing Rullian’s latest effort, “Chameleon In Disguise.”

As was indicated on “Is This My Guitar or An Albatross” Raoul’s creativity knows no bounds – “Chameleon In Disguise” is more evidence of that. Raoul has the skills and knowledge to exploit that creativity into unique nuggets of musical sound. He likes to describe his efforts as music for the soundtrack minded – not that I disagree, but what I hear is sonic ruminations melded and orchestrated into joyful, often playful, songs. Sonic territory explored includes everything from rave-ups, to swinging jazz, to sweet ballads, to bouncing funk, to quasi-techno outbursts, to various forms of world music, and straight-ahead rockers – it’s all included on “Chameleon In Disguise.”

Certain tracks herk and jerk like involuntary spasms – and I mean that in the best way possible. Whether a seamless transition or a deliberate attempt to infuse the listener with juxtaposed sound, “Chameleon In Disguise” begs to be heard. It’s an imaginative tour de force. I’m not culturally adept and I would be an absolutely failure at “Name That Tune.” As such, I’m sure there are musical references to TV show themes, commercial jingles, and other similar and familiar melodies that just completely escape me at the moment.

Rullian’s “Chameleon In Disguise” would be a welcome addition to the CD collection of any fan who appreciates instrumental music.

Support a good cause – all proceeds (not just profits) from the sale of “Chameleon In Disguise” go to the Humane Society.

Rullian is Raoul kicking ass at most everything. Assistance provided by Charlie Alvarez on bass, Chris Williams on bass, Luke Kelly on piano and keyboards, Ann Hackman on violin and viola, Chris LeRoy on piano and keyboards, and Will Bagby on drums and bongos.