MUSIC BOOKS FINE ARTS FILM THE WORLD
Street Performer - Sultans of Swing
Guitar George Knows All the Chords
This video of a "Brazilian street performer" showed up on YouTube recently and has been much appreciated by a certain generation of music fans. It features a solo performer doing a note-by-note rendition of the Dire Straits classic "Sultans of Swing". This is a marker song for aspiring electric guitar players, owing to composer Mark Knopfler's sophisticated use of a range of Nashville-oriented guitar licks that came to life with his brilliant execution, adding to the library of stuff top-line guitar players need to know how to do. This Brazilian dude has pretty much mastered the canon, performing Knopfler's composition with a fealty to tone and timing that achieves what any cover player would hope to do, which is pay tribute to what is special enough about a particular recording to show why someone would want to reproduce it exactly in the first place.
Brooklyn's Tyburn Saints
With the Night in Our Eyes
With the Night in Our Eyes, the new album from New York band Tyburn Saints was recorded by Ian Love (Rival Schools) in Brooklyn, NY and produced with Grammy award winner Guy Massey (Beatles, Manic Street Preachers, Depeche Mode, Spiritualized and The Chameleons) in London. It will be released by Balaclava Records out of São Paulo, Brazil. Tyburn Saints fully embrace the sonic landscapes of shoegaze and dream-pop, with blankets of warmth ushered in by Cocteau Twins-esque guitars (similar also to LSD and the Search for God or The Bethany Curve) juxtaposed against the intelligible, meaningful vocals of lead singer Johnny Gimenez.
Richie Blue Band
No Bar Too Far for Richie Blue
Blues guitarist Richie Blue has been a staple of California's Blues circuit for a few decades, beginning with his time with The Fabulous Beaumont Brothers. That band featured Amos Garett along with Richie's slide guitar, and it made Richie Blue a known entity in California. He gigged through the San Jose, San Francisco and Sacramento club and festival circuit in a cycle that continues to this day, booking behind his motto "No bar too far". He has released three CDs on the San Francisco Farmboy label. His original song "Rooster" has been performed by the band Zero, Norton Buffalo, Stu Blank, The Sonoma Swampdogs and other Bay Area blues bands. He has worked as a session pro on more than 30 albums and CDs. In the video here he trades blues licks with another Bay Area pro, Russ Perry.
Les Fradkin - Canon in D
Rocking Classical on the Ztar (midi) - Best Classical Recording-Indie Music Channel Awards for 2014. Les Fradkin returns with an Exclusive Single Version of Canon In D.
Reinventing the wheel of sorts, Les Fradkin has done it again! Les recently won "Best Classical Recording" at the 2014 Indie Music Channel Awards for the single "Canon In D"! What makes this award even more impressive is the fact that the song was released five years ago as part of the 'Baroque Rocks!' album. Proving once again that classical & Baroque style music is standing the test of time. Fradkin is a classically-trained artist/musician along with being one hell of a rock guitarist that can play with the best of them. He is also an accomplished composer & producer who knows what sounds good and what doesn't. His winning composition "Canon In D" hits all the right notes and definitely feels right. Paying homage to German Baroque composer/organist/teacher Johann Pachelbel who wrote "Canon In D", Les has given a new zest of life to the original masterpiece. Using his one-of-a-kind Starr Labs Ztar, Les is able to produce an array of amazing sounds from just one unique instrument. Blending rock with classical/Baroque on Fradkin's version of "Canon In D", the mighty Ztar is able to make it all sound so electronic & New Age while still keepin' it classy. Fradkin's innovative approach did not take away from the original score at all because Les was able to have the New World & Old World come together as One. With two worlds colliding, Les is able to combine it all perfectly for the listeners of Today. Coined as a "virtuoso" MIDI guitarist, Les is putting a modern & inventive twist on Pachelbel's classic piece.
"Squeeze My Hand"
Quaint and cute might be words one could use to describe the video below, which also features much of what we at RARWRITER love about New York City singer-songwriter-musician Michael Butler. Back in 1998, Michael and his wife Lydia were cast as extras in a CBS TV movie titled "Her Own Rules". It was filmed in Ireland at Leixlip Castle, which is part of the Guinness family empire. Michael and Lydia's parts were not large, but they have been made lovingly memorable through Michael's use of footage from the film in videos he has produced in support of his reggae tune "Squeeze My Hand". He uses it as part of his press package, and it is charmingly effective at showcasing Michael's musical talent, his big heart, the extent to which he adores his wife, and his sense of humor. It's a feel good thing.
Our Favorite Song this Week!
Check out "Todo Menos El Dolor" by Kimono Kult.
East Bay Musicians Who We Have Lost
Heart of Rock'n Roll
The San Francisco Bay Area is fortunate to have among its denizens a fellow named Obert Sonstein, who gives a great deal of his time and energy to recognition of the Bay Area's music community. His beat is not so much the big name stars as lower tier genres like "Garage Bands of the 1960s", which includes production of an ongoing schedule of day-long reunions where old dudes and their old band mates take the stage in back-to-back-to-back performances. These events will occasionally include well-known players who came up among these other dudes who continue to perform out of their love and passion for the music they play. It is an uplifting celebration of something good about human nature.
The other thing Mr. Sonstein does so well is honor Bay Area musicians when they pass away, which is happening with increasing frequency as the Baby Boomer generation becomes a group of seniors. Visit his Facebook site Memorial Page for East Bay Musicians Who We Have Lost to read tributes to a long list of players who have transitioned to the next stage.
Caribou Ranch Closes its Gates
It is likely that the only people outside of the Boulder/Nederland Colorado area who know anything about Caribou Ranch and its recording facilities learned of it through liner notes on Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder or Joe Walsh albums, among other big stars. The studio was owned and operated by the Jim Guercio, whose fame and fortune derived from the pop band Chicago, along with Blood Sweat & Tears and The Buckinghams. A Chicago native and guitarist, Guercio moved to L.A. to find big commercial success as a producer and songwriter, as well as a session player. He was a Columbia Records staff producer and toured as a musician with the Beach Boys in the mid-70s. His tune "Distant Shores" charted for Chad & Jeremy. Guercio worked with Clive Davis to pair down Chicago's sound from something "experimental" to something more "pop", even changing the name of the band from The Chicago Transit Authority. Rancor ensued between Guercio and the band, which culminated in Guercio's retreat to his Nederland, Colorado recording studio/ranch (there was a working cattle ranch in operation there initially) in 1972. Caribou became a remote isolation station for big name talent, including John Lennon, who fancied the idea of a musical retreat far removed from the pressures of the east and west coast music industry centers.
Jim Guercio, who is now nearing 70 years of age, seemed to lose interest in the music industry years ago, and by the mid-80s Caribou Ranch became kind of a ghost facility in terms of musical energies. The Guercio family relocated to Montana and recently sold the Caribou facility to a tentacle (Indian Peaks Holdings LL) of the Walton (Wal-Mart) family for $32.5 million. The Guercios retained ownership of 40-acres of the former ranch property as well as the Caribou name. They plan to pursue a "lifestyle" business from their Montana retreat, as in suggestions for living to a certain standard. This is a popular trope these days, with celebrity-experts such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Lauren Conrad, and Jessica Alba following a trail blazed by Martha Stewart. Step one is always something like: "Begin by transferring a million dollars, or whatever you are comfortable with, from savings to checking, because you are going to want to buy some things to get started on your new lifestyle."
Things from the old Caribou Ranch lifestyle, such as the piano on which pop classics "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "Bridge over Troubled Waters" has been donated to the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. The curator for that collection is long-time Colorado music writer G. Brown.
ARTIST NEWS THIS EDITION ABOUT MUSIC MUSIC REVIEWS BOOKS CINEMA FASHION FINE ARTS FEATURES SERIES MEDIA ESSAY RESOURCES WRITTEN ARTS POETRY CONTACT ARCHIVES MUSIC LINKS
Copyright © July, 2014 Rick Alan Rice (RARWRITER)