Friday, October 8, 2010

Nine By Design 4

I'm a huge fan of movies, but I'm what could be characterized as, obsessed with music.  No movie can bring out the emotions in me, that music can.  So many genres that you can dive into, blues, rock, country (real country, not pop with cowboy hats) jazz, classical and on and on.  I've always been the music guy, but not the "popular" music guy.  Meaning, I tend not to listen to what everyone else in the world listens to.  I get into one particular band or artist and branch off from there.  Who are their influences?  Did any members play in other bands?  Where are they from?  It just leads you into so many other directions.  I'm always trying to learn and explore music.  I've said this recently and I say it often, "I don't have time for new music, because I'm too busy going backwards."  Yes, I've also been called a music snob, but I don't think I am.  I try not to put down music that doesn't appeal to me, except for the country remark earlier.  Listen, Garth Brooks and Toby Keith aren't country, they are pop singers.  I'll stop now, because we'll never get to the list if I keep on going.  It's just a fact of life.

Welcome to the list part of the blog for the week.  The 9 best glockenspielists, now that list would probably kill this blog.  Then again, writing about RUSH and the UFC have yet to.  Onto our random 9 for this week.

Rock Guitarists

Lindsey Buckingham:  Very rarely do you get a musician that plays with as much passion as Buckingham.  He's never used a pick that I know of, preferring to finger pick everything.  He has had success with Fleetwood Mac of course, but also as a solo artist.  I think he's pretty great singer as well.

Steve Vai:  Burst onto the music scene as the player of "Impossible Guitar Parts" or "Stunt Guitarist" for Frank Zappa.  He would become the ultimate hired gun playing for bands like Alcatrazz (please excuse the keytar, I have no control over it), David Lee Roth (please excuse DLR's ass-less spandex pants, I have no control over it) and Whitesnake (no video, I have control over it), to name a couple.  He has taken over for his mentor as one of the premier instrumentalists in rock music.

Gary Moore:  We're about to get a little obscure and into the blues.  How is it that Gary Moore isn't a huge guitar hero?  Oh that's right, he plays blues guitar and rarely leaves Europe.  The man has one of the sweetest sounding tones I've ever heard.  He also played on and off with Thin Lizzy and Phil Lynott during his solo career.

Steve Morse:  He's a hard guy to put a finger on.  He formed the Dixie Dregs in 1970.  A sort of southern fried rock, jazz fusion band, if that makes sense.  He's also had his own Steve Morse Band for years, as well as, playing in Kansas and currently, Deep Purple.  Occasionally, he'll duet with someone on an easy piece...wink wink.

Mike Campbell:  He and Benmont Tench (piano) have been with Tom Petty since the beginning.  Such a tasteful player that never over plays.  He's a master of his craft that adds just enough to each song.  Campbell is so valuable to Petty, he plays on Tom's solo albums.

Nels Cline:  Has contributed so much to Wilco.  Has a noisy, almost experimental take on lead guitar, but also plays some of the smoothest leads ever heard.  Nels has done many a guest appearance on albums and even though he's busy with Wilco's ever growing popularity, he still maintains his side project, The Nels Cline Singers.

Danny Gatton:  The late, great, King of the Telecaster.  Could be one of the saddest stories in music history.  Struggled with depression for years and although undeniably a guitar god, lived in obscurity most of his career.  Danny would take his own life in 1994.  His great technique and music still live on.

Mark Knopfler:  The master of subtlety, in my opinion.  There is so much going on in his hands, but makes it look like nothing is happening.  Mark Knopfler is an unlikely rock star.  On top of being a guitar wizard, he's a great singer and one hell of a songwriter.

Paul Gilbert:  I've saved my favorite for last...Mr. Paul Gilbert.  Whether he's playing with the reunited Mr. Big, Racer X or making people laugh with his solo stuff, Gilbert is always amazing.  I'd put money down that he could play every song ever recorded, as he is the master of cover songs.  To add to all of this, he was an early teacher of this mysterious man.

As always, I hope you enjoyed reading and watching the list.  I enjoyed putting it together for you.  Have a great weekend (Holiday weekend in the States for most people) and have fun.

Editor's Note:  The Whitesnake comment was made in tribute to John Sykes.  David Coverdale fired John and the entire band, after their self-titled breakthrough album was completed.  Imagine, writing and recording an album that would go on to sell something like 8 million copies, but some other dudes get all the press and glory for it, because they are the ones in the videos.  That's my gripe.

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