The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Monday, January 26, 2009

Thomas Leeb, Bad Flights, and Discoveries

Tonight’s featured Guitarist is Thomas Leeb, Austrian born and a close friend of the late Eric Roche. Thomas style is a combination of percussive sounds achieved by slapping, tapping and scratching the guitar body and sometimes funky, always melodic picking/chording. Something about Thomas’ tone just rings in your ears. He is a definite tone monster. I have two of his CD’s and here are a couple of my favorites:

•Grooveyard: he has a scratchplate affixed to his guitar to help add variety to his rhythmic sound. It mimics the sound of brushes on drums. Some of his strumming techniques hurt my hands to watch. I loovve this number!

•Desert Pirate: percussive rhythm; almost sounds like a three piece band when he adds the drum like rhythm to the bass and guitar fills. This is one of my favorite numbers. Listen to it at

•Oachkatzlschwoaf: he uses the scratch pad to achieve a sound like a jazz drummer using brushes on a snare. The whole number makes me feel like I’m sitting is a darkened, moody bar in Chicago, listening to a jazz trio.

•Oft Geht Bled: contrasting pace; sweet sounding melody; very nice use of harmonics

•While my Guitar Gently Weeps: Sweet tone; he uses some beautiful harmonics to play the melody at two points. Listen at

•Perculator. This is an Eric Roche number and I guarantee Eric’s spirit smiles when he hears Thomas play it.

You can find more about him and also hear some of these tunes at his website: You can (and should!) order his CD’s there also.

On another note, I’m in San Jose right now getting ready to give a talk on my research at the Biophotonics meeting. Sounds impressive, Huh? Trust me, it’s not. Anyway, had a terrible time getting here. The flight was six hours late, they lost my suitcase (got it today), and I arrived at the airport too late to get a rental car. Plus some woman brought a cat onto the plane and decided it needed to be out of its carrier, so she tried to let it run loose through the plane. Guess who’s really allergic to cats? The stupid animal ran under my seat and as she tried to pick it up, it sank its claws into my leg, whereupon I lamented, “So many cats, so few recipes.” Needless to say, it probably wasn’t the right thing to say. Fortunately, the flight attendant made her put the potential tennis racket away. I also realized I had a real problem with my new diet. I’m supposed to eat every four-five hours, but with the helter skelter flight schedule, I had visions of going eighteen hours without food. Thank God for little delays, because of which, I discovered a restaurant, Pour Le France Café, in all places, the Denver Airport! Only had time for an entrée but what an entrée it turned out to be. I had Halibut Bouillabaisse, A six ounce filet of perfectly cooked halibut in a spicy thick tomato sauce with peppers, a few onions, zucchini, and other assorted veggies. Outstanding! Would have gone great with a robust merlot, zinfandel, or syrah, but alas, time and diet didn’t permit. I think, however, I feel an accidental filling of a glass of ambrosia coming for tomorrow’s dinner. Hey, don’t shake your head at me, I’ve been good! Catch y’all later.


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