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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Showing posts with label Guitar Heroes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guitar Heroes. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Stony Plain Records artists: James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett & David Wilcox - Guitar Heroes - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Guitar Heroes, from James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox and it's quite terrific. Not since Danny Gatton passed have I heard such a tastefully done release of tele rippin guitar riffs in one spot. These tracks were recorded live in a one time special performance at the Vancouver Island MusicFest on July 12, 2013 and is being released on both Cd and 180 gm vinyl. Opening with Big Boy Crudup's That's All Right featuring Albert Lee on vocal and each of the featured guitarists soloing. First Albert with his country style picking, then James with his trademark chicken pickin', then David more traditional country styling, Amos who has a distinctive riff styling of his own and then back to Albert all backed by Jon Greathouse on keys, Will MacGregor on bass and Jason Harrison Smith on drums. Great opener! Greathouse takes the mic on Suzie Q and Wilcox is up first with a real nice riff, followed by Burton with a real authoritative solo of his own. Garrett's solo steps out of the box with his solo with a bit more of free approach followed by a nice key solo by Greathouse. Garrett brings forward a really nice interpretation of Johnny and Santo's Sleepwalk. Excellent bending, chording, double stops and feel! On Ray Charles' Leave My Woman Alone, Lee is back on vocal. Lee takes the first solo and it is strong and crisp interwoven with piano work by Greathouse. Lee then leads off a flurry of solos followed by Burton and Wilcox. Hot! On You're The One, Wilcox takes the mic as well as a lead slide riff. Wilcox lets out some of the best vocals on the release and Burton, Lee and Garrett proceed to unload extended guitar solos each nicely complimenting the other on this easily paced blues number. One of my favorite tracks on the release. On Latin influenced instrumental, Comin' Home Baby, Wilcox leads the way with a cool sliding/bending solo followed by Burton, Lee and Garrett. Very very nice track. Wilcox is back at the mic again for blues shuffle, Flip Flop and Fly. He has a real interesting slide sound with a richness almost like a lap steel guitar. Lee is up next with fleet fingered riffs as clean as a whistle. Garrett really captures the swing feel and his guitar tone with echo is tops. Closing it out is Burton with slick riffs of his own. Very nice! Jimmy Seals' instrumental, Only The Young, is a quiet introspective track with lead chords by Burton, an extended key solo by Greathouse and inventive "jazz" solos by Wilcox, Garrett, Lee and Burton. Beautiful execution! Tony Joe White's Polk Salad Annie goes totally instrumental with the first melodic solo by Burton. Garrett has a more aggressive blues rock style solo followed by MacGregor who keeps it tight. Greathouse bridges the guitars with a short key solo and then it's Lee who literally blows the doors off. Wilcox is last on the list but certainly not least with a country blues attack. Two stepper, Bad Apple, features Wilcox on lead vocal with simple kicked back guitar solos by Garrett, Burton, Burton and Wilcox. Wrapping the release is Albert Lee's Country Boy featuring Lee on lead vocals and of course Lee setting the pace with his tasty rapid fire soloing right up front. Wilcox takes the second (third) solo with a real steel like sound that really sets him out. Very nice. Greathouse lays down a real nice finger wrenching piano sol before Albert steps back up to close the track. Excellent!

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Friday, March 6, 2015

James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox Are "Guitar Heroes" on New Live CD, Coming May 5 from Stony Plain Records


James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox Are Guitar Heroes on New Live CD, Coming May 5 from Stony Plain Records

Dream Team of Telecaster Masters Create an Historic Roots/Rock Extravaganza on CD and Vinyl, Recorded Live at Vancouver Island MusicFest 

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records proudly announces a May 5 release date for Guitar Heroes, a very special live recording that teams acclaimed guitar masters James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox for what promises to be one of the most heralded albums of the year. Stony Plain Records (which is distributed in the U.S. by ADA) will release Guitar Heroes in both CD and vinyl LP formats. The LP version will be pressed on 180-gram vinyl and also include a card enabling purchasers to download the full 11 tracks on the CD edition.   

These four Telecaster Masters shake up the rock and roll universe on this historic release, recorded during a one-time special performance at the Vancouver Island (Canada) MusicFest on July 12, 2013. Rooted in blues and rockabilly influences, each of the four legends have shaped and changed the sound of popular music since the mid-1950s. The musicianship, good taste, camaraderie and energized interplay showcased on stage that night made guitar history, now preserved on recordings for everyone to experience. As Albert Lee, himself, proclaimed that night, “Welcome to my dreams here!”

Backing the four Guitar Heroes for this concert were the members of Albert Lee’s regular touring band: Jon Greathouse (keyboards/lead vocals), Will MacGregor (bass) and Jason Harrison Smith (drums/background vocals). The 11-song repertoire recorded for the program is presented just as it was heard that night, with no editing, overdubs or studio sweetening. Just four amazing guitar players having fun together and creating a magical night of music. Songs run the gamut of roots music, with explorations into blues, rockabilly, rock ‘n’ roll and a touch of country.

Musical highlights on Guitar Heroes abound, such as James Burton recreating his classic guitar licks on “Susie Q,” just as he did on the Dale Hawkins’ original single back in 1957; Albert Lee going on amazing guitar runs all over the album’s closer, “Country Boy;” Amos Garrett launching into the stratosphere with his string-bending take of the rock ‘n’ roll gem, “Sleep Walk;” and David Wilcox going full-out with two masterful solos on “Comin’ Home Baby.”

“As Artistic Director of the Vancouver Island MusicFest, I get to dream up collaborations like these for what will hopefully become once-in-a-lifetime musical experiences,” says Doug Cox on the album’s liner notes. “This one worked. It's truly rock and roll heaven, right here on Earth where there is indeed, a hell of a band!”

Burton, Lee, Garrett and Wilcox arrived on Vancouver Island a day early to rehearse at the local Cumberland Hotel. The mutual respect was clearly evident from the moment the four guitarists started to play together. “I remember standing out on our main street, thinking how surreal it was to have James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett and David Wilcox in our local watering hole in the middle of the day swapping licks,” recalls Doug Cox in his notes. “It was like a gunslingers gathering in an old saloon; one where all the survivors got together to enjoy each other’s company like only survivors can. High-test, take no prisoners, expect no mercy, guitar slinging at its best.”

And no wonder: each of these players has a resume that would be the envy of any musician on the planet. “James Burton, with his trademark ‘chicken pickin’ style, has created one of the most influential styles in country music and rock and roll,” writes Cox. “His playing has become a well of inspiration for many players, including the other musicians on this recording. Albert Lee took influences from James’ style and made it his own, with tone to die for. To quote his buddy Eric Clapton, Albert plays ‘like a jazz musician, but with country scales; like Django, but with a bluegrass past.’ Amos Garrett, known as the inventor of multiple string-bending on the guitar, is one of the most well versed players in the business, with a history steeped in blues, country and jazz (including classic solos, such as his work on Maria Muldaur’s “Midnight at the Oasis.”) And iconic guitarist David Wilcox, who is perhaps one of Canada's best kept secrets, has influenced a generation of Northern pickers with his funky rhythms, quirky surprise licks and searing slide guitar that identify him as one of our countries most unique players.”

James Burton (born Aug. 21, 1939, Dubberly, Louisiana)
Career highlights: “Susie Q,” with Dale Hawkins (1957), 11 years with Rickie Nelson, Elvis Presley (1969-77), Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris' Hot Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, John Denver, Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison, the TCB Band and thousands of sessions.

Albert Lee (born Dec. 21, 1943, Lingen, Herefordshire, England)
Career highlights: Heads, Hands and Feet (1971-73), The Crickets, Emmylou Harris and The Hot Band, five years with Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers, Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings, Rodney Crowell, 20 plus solo albums and thousands of sessions.

Amos Garrett (born Nov. 26, 1941, Detroit, Michigan)
Career highlights: Ian & Sylvia's Great Speckled Bird (1969-70), Maria Muldaur's “Midnight At The Oasis,” Paul Butterfield's Better Days, The Amos Garrett, Doug Sahm, Gene Taylor Band, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Jerry Garcia, Martin Mull, Jesse Winchester, etc.

David Wilcox (born Jul. 31, 1949, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Career highlights: Great Specked Bird (1970-73), Nashville North and The Ian Tyson (TV) show, Maria Muldaur, many Canadian hits and gold and platinum albums as a solo artist. One of Canada's most influential roots music guitarists, singers and songwriters.

“There are moments of deep musical inspiration on these grooves; the kind that only happens when the music becomes bigger than the individual players,” Doug Cox summarizes in his liner notes. “All egos were put aside, nothing to prove, no young, nervous energy, just veterans digging in with musical colleagues in the truest sense. Thank goodness we recorded the show, although at first it was just to be a souvenir for the players. Once we heard the results we knew it had to be shared with the world. This is pure, passionate music.”



Guitar Heroes CD Track Listing
1. That's All Right (Mama) 5:18
2. Susie Q 5:26
3. Sleep Walk 4:13
4. Leave My Woman Alone 7:39
5. You're The One 7:57
6. Comin' Home Baby 4:32
7. Flip, Flop And Fly 4:32
8. Only the Young 6:15
9. Polk Salad Annie 5:44
10. Bad Apple 6:29
11. Country Boy 5:54

Guitar Heroes Vinyl LP Track Listing
(Includes download of all 11 tracks featured on CD & in digital outlets)
    Side One
1. That’s All Right (Mama) 5:19
2. Susie Q 5:27
3. Sleep Walk 4:13
4. Leave My Woman Alone 7:40
    Side Two
1. Flip, Flop And Fly 4:33
2. Comin’ Home Baby 4:32
3. You’re The One 7:58
4. Country Boy 5:54