Better Than Coffee

Paul Gilbert playing, “Fuzz Universe.” Monday mornings are better with some shredding guitar!

He is part comedian, but, mostly an amazing guitarist, but, there is no doubt he spent lots of time perfecting his chops. You can hear both attributes in his style.

Here’s to a great week, Enjoy!

Randy Rhoads, 31 Years Gone, Still Influencing Guitarists!

The Classic Randy Rhoads Poster
The Classic Randy Rhoads Poster

The first concert I ever went to was Ozzy Osbourne, January 4, 1982 at the San Diego Sports Arena. I remember it like it was yesterday. The only bummer about this show was that it was right after Christmas vacation from school. Since I was counting down the days until the show I was in essence counting down my vacation….

But, not only was it an Ozzy show, it was Ozzy with Randy Rhoads. Randy Rhoads the guitar legend who would tragically be killed in an airplane crash just over two months after this show. I can still picture the crushed students at my Junior High School wearing black armbands. That was the cool way to pay tribute to a fallen rock idol in those days. John Bonham and Bon Scott were two others so honored, I recall. I always cherish the fact I was lucky enough to see Randy live and my first concert!!

Randy was the first guitar hero to blend a classical approach with heavy metal. Most guitarists at the time were more blues/rock influenced. With only two studio recordings, “Blizzards of Ozz,” and “Diary of a Madman,” to his credit, Randy has left a huge legacy regardless. His influence still reaches out today 31 years after his death to new generations of guitarists.

RIP RR

“SATO,” is a cool song, maybe not one of Randy’s classics. I picked this video as it does a great job featuring him!

The Guitar Gods Smiled Upon Me….

While I always feel ‘crazy’ lucky to be a guitarist for a living….I had a nice little gift from the Guitar Gods this morning during my workout.

Every morning, I trudge out to get my blood flowing, trusty IPod always in tow, shuffling though 8000 or so songs! I like to shuffle, both for the randomness and the fact that with so much music I get  to hear stuff I would probably never pick or even remember that I own.

Anywho, first up on this sunny morning was Joe Satriani’s “Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing,” a classic to be sure. Followed by, Dokken’s, “Tooth and Nail,” with George Lynch’s extended guitar solo, Jimi Hendrix’ classic, “The Wind Cries Mary,” “Espiritu,” by the De Lucia, McLaughlin, Di Meola trio and capped off with, “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” Van Halen’s live version.

Good thing it was a short workout or the next song that may have popped up could have been my daughter’s Little Einsteins and ruined my Guitar Gods Smiling on Me theory.

Peace…have a great one everybody!

YNGWIE

YNGWIE, not just a great Scrabble word, one of the most talented rock/metal guitarists.

Thought I would post this in honor of the guitarists upcoming tour bringing him to the House of Blues in San Diego on May 14.

This clip has everything a self-respecting guitar geek would want. A blistering lead guitarist, playing with his teeth, throwing his guitar and all the while backed by a full symphonic orchestra.

If you’ve never heard Yngwie play watch/listen to the clip. He is a very classic influenced guitarist. Actually more Baroque or Romantic period traits, but, it’s all ‘classical’ music to most folks.

Enjoy!

This is IMPRESSIVE, Cure For Bieber Fever

I saw these kids on the Today Show, they are amazing! In the video below they appeared on David Letterman. Dave was joking and teasing at first then amazed after their performance.

No offense against the Justin Biebers and Jonas Brothers and farther back the Britney Spears and even farther back the Debbie Gibsons and the New Kids on the Block and on and on. The list is endless of industry created acts. Of course they all have talented voices and can dance well and most of them are pretty …even the boys.

However, not one of them got anything on the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys! These three brothers play their instruments with a virtuosic command many long time studying musicians wish they had. They say the name came from the fact the little brother playing banjo was too small to actually hold it up when he started out and would lay down to play.

All the best to these three!!

Here is the link to their website.

Enjoy!

Music to Relax, Friday Edition, Joe Satriani

Hope you are all having a great Friday evening! Coming off a vacation I am having a nice relaxing evening at home. Well actually I have been working so far, but, I am relaxed.

Here is a cool-funky-chill song from guitar legend Joe Satriani.

Enjoy and relax, especially all you sports fans gearing up for the Superbowl on Sunday.

For previous ‘Music to Relax’ posts click here.

A Guitar Christmas- Al Di Meola, Carol of the Bells

For those of you who don’t know about Al Di Meola,  you are missing out especially if you are a guitar aficionado. Di Meola’s style is a blending of Latin influences with jazz fusion. He is known for blistering solo work and has collaborated with a wide variety of musicians. These partnerships range from rock/metal guitarists Steve Vai and Joe Satriani to fusion jazz master Chick Corea.  From  flamenco giant Paco De Lucia to pop singer songwriter Paul Simon.

Happy holidays, hope you enjoy the guitar inspired Christmas music.

Amazing Artistry on Drums, Buddy Rich

A colleague of mine, Carlos Rull, recently posted a Buddy Rich drum solo. I always knew Buddy was a great drummer, but, I never really knew about him until his older days when he was known to be somewhat of a ‘colorful’ character. His legendary rants often precede his reputation as an incredible musician.

Seeing this video blew my mind! Rich’s sheer artistry and technique are spectacular. As much as I love music of all genres and technical prowess, highbrow classical to 3 chord punk,  the level of artistry you are about to witness is one of my favorite parts of listening to music. The total control over every note, rhythm and sound only a true master can offer.

Carlos is a great drummer himself…make sure you check out his blog!!

Carlos Rull’s Blog Post of Buddy Rich Drum Solo

RIP Ravi Shankar Renown Virtuoso Sitarist

Not the post I was planning on writing this evening.

2012 has been a brutally tough year with the deaths of many legendary musicians.  Just last week we lost jazz pianist/composer Dave Brubeck and today(Dec. 11) the sad news of Ravi Shankar’s passing.

Ravi Shankar is an amazing musician known for many things, however, there are two highlights on his resume. First, he was a pioneer in introducing Indian sitar music to the Western world. Second, not totally detached from the first was his influence on the Beatles especially guitarist George Harrison. Trained in the Northern Indian tradition of Hindustani music the sitarist was a crossover  in the 1960’s Western pop culture. As mentioned he was an influence on the Beatles and also played the legendary Woodstock Festival. With his amazing talent and global appeal Shankar became an icon of Indian culture. The Indian Prime Minister said of Shankar on his passing, “National treasure and global ambassador of India’s cultural heritage”.

Shankar has two daughters who are also renown musicians. In the tradition of her father, Anoushka, concertizes throughout the world on the sitar and has pushed the sitar further into the Western realm with her collaborations. I was lucky enough to see the two play together at a San Diego concert near the turn of the millennium. Norah Jones, pop vocalist with a smooth voice inherited her fathers musical genes if not his cultural side.

Shankar died right here in San Diego. For those of you curious who are not from here, he actually passed in La Jolla which translates to the jewel. An amazingly beautiful city on the Pacific Ocean fitting of such an ambassadors final breaths.