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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 Jan Akkerman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jan Akkerman. Show all posts

Friday, December 17, 2021

Cleopatra Records: Animals Reimagined: A Tribute To Pink Floyd - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Animals Reimagined: A Tribute To Pink Floyd and it's quite interesting. Opening with Pigs On The Wing, Part 1, Cutting Crew vocalist, Nick Crew is paired with Jethro Tull's Martin Barre for an ethereal acoustic intro that nicely wets the appetite. The first of three major compositions on the release, (17 minute) Dogs, features Rainbow's Graham Bonnet on lead vocal, UFO's Vinnie Moore on guitar, Utopia bassist Kasim Sulton, Dream Theater key player Jordan Rudess and King Crimson drummer Pat Mastelotto. This is a really cool idea of bringing together contemporary progressive players to reinterpret these masterpieces. We've got a different lineup for the 2nd of the major compositions, (11 and a half minute) Pigs (Three Different Ones) including Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie, Return To Forever and major solo artist Al DiMeola on guitar, Blue Oyster Cult bassist Joe Bouchard, Moody Blues  key player Partick Moraz and session man, Mahavishnu Orchestra and extreme drummer soloist, Billy Cobham. Very cool. The third of the masterworks is (10 and a half minute) Sheep featuring Arthur Brown on lead vocal, Yes and key/synth phenom Rick Wakeman, Focus and major guitar soloist Jan Akkerman, Bahaus bassist David J., and Cactus, Vanilla Fudge, Jeff Beck and solo drummer, Carmine Appice. Extensive soloing on all three compositions are flamboyant, exciting and not overly self indulgent. Wrapping the release is Pigs On The Wing, Part 2 matches Yes vocalist Jon Davison with Eric Clapton and session man, soli guitarist Albert Lee on guitars and Billy Sherwood on acoustic guitar and effects. This was a well conceived project in 1977 and quite enjoyable in 2021.

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Monday, December 10, 2012


Jan Akkerman (born 24 December 1946) is a Dutch guitarist. Akkerman is a distinctive guitar player, constantly experimenting with new equipment and guitars. Akkerman's distinctive sound is characterised by his pioneering use of volume swells which produce a smooth, fluty, sustained tone, and other complex techniques such as sweep picking, tapping, and high-speed alternate picking. He also pioneered the use of the lute in a rock band, reflecting his interest in medieval and Renaissance music and culture. He first reached world acclaim in the 1970s when he was seen as the core of the Dutch rock band, Focus, together with Thijs van Leer. Akkerman was born near the Waterlooplein, in the center of Amsterdam, the son of a scrap iron trader. At age five he took guitar lessons and his first single was released in 1960, when he was thirteen years old. He was a member of Johnny and his Cellar Rockers, The Hunters (with whom he scored the 1966 Dutch pop hit "Russian Spy and I") and Brainbox (which also garnered several Dutch hit singles, including a cover of Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe"). Akkerman joined the Thijs van Leer Trio in late 1969 which, as the nascent band Focus was the pit band for the Dutch theatrical production of "Hair" (recorded as an album in 1969). Continuing under the name Focus, the band explored the progressive rock genre (an amalgam of classical, jazz, and rock music in short and extended instrumentals) and scored a few worldwide hits in the seventies (the singles "Hocus Pocus" and "Sylvia" and the certified Gold albums "Moving Waves" and Focus III). In 1973 Akkerman was chosen 'Best Guitarist in The World' by the readers of the UK magazine, Melody Maker. His standing was such that he teamed up with manufacturer Framus to produce one of the first 'signature' guitar models. In early 1976 Akkerman left Focus and continued his solo career, and collaborations with other musicians. The concept album "Eli", recorded with Kaz Lux on vocals, won the Dutch Edison Award for best album in 1976. A brief Focus reunion with Thijs van Leer in 1985 came in the form of several concerts supported by an album which turned out to be unsuccessful. The classic Focus lineup also reunited in 1990 for the Dutch television program "Goud van Oud" (Old Gold) for one last time. Akkerman continued to produce several albums. At the same time he was active as a session musician with AndrĂ© Hazes and others. He also played alongside Vlatko Stefanovski, Alan Price, Herman Brood, Peter Banks, Phil Collins, Jack Bruce, Charlie Byrd, Ice-T, Paco De Lucia, and B.B. King. In 1992 he was involved in a serious car accident, but resumed playing in 1993. In the late 1990s, after an absence of nearly 20 years, he was persuaded to tour the UK again and has continued to do so on a regular basis. He writes for the Dutch magazine, GitaarPlus. In 2011, Akkerman released his latest album, "Minor Details". If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Am I Losing You - Jan Akkerman

This is a recent piece from Jan Akkerman, famed Dutch guitarist of Focus renown. Akkerman left Focus years ago and developed a more continental style over a number of releases. I think that this is terrific. Is it the blues. Doesn't sound like Robert Johnson but neither does Muddy Waters. I like it.
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