Well, I haven’t blogged for awhile due to a major change I’ve made in my life…I decided it was time to lose some weight. I was 6 feet and about 245 pounds. But because of my travel schedule, something like Jenny Craig that required me to buy meals just wouldn’t work. Sooo, I enrolled myself in a group called Metabolic Research. Unfortunately, one of the things I have to cut out for the next six months is wine. Life is cruel sometimes, but I have lost 13 pounds in two weeks so it seems to be working. Only 47 more pounds to go. But fear not, I will still review restaurants and the occasional nip of the fruit of the vine that may accidentally pass my lips.
Now, one of my favorite ways to relax is to have a glass of wine (no, no, no! High protein drinks!), pick up a good book or work on one of my own, and listen to music, specifically guitar music of the acoustic variety. If you’ve read my profile, you’ll recall that I used to be a professional bass guitarist. I started playing the acoustic guitar because playing the bass by yourself is not terribly fulfilling. Now as a former bass player, I like to feel da funk in the music I listen to and that includes acoustic guitar. I’m not talking lackadaisical strumming while you sing Kum By Yah by the campfire. I’m talking foot stomping, finger ripping, tapping, slapping, harmonically percussive heavy wood.
I am amazed at the plethora of young, talented guitarists out there today. Not only are these guys technically in the stratosphere, but their originality, sense of melody, and yes, funk, is downright amazing. I’m a struggling writer of thrillers, although my day job is in the more mundane field of science. It’s a struggle to get people to buy and read your books when you’re an unknown. So as I was listening to some of these young guitarists, I realized that although some of their YouTube videos may have been viewed thousands of times, how many of the viewers were NOT guitarists? How do they get exposure to people who may not be musicians, but just appreciate good music.
So I says to myself, “Self, since we can’t do the wine thing right now, how about we spread the word about some of these young guns and blog about ‘em?” I thought it was a good idea, so for the next few months I’ll be mixing guitarists in with my restaurant and accidental wine tips. I will review guitarists who are probably only known to other guitarists but who ya gotta see and hear to believe. And…I’ll only give good reviews. I don’t believe in bashing the work of someone else. Okay? Here we go.
Canada seems to be producing some incredible talent. My first guitarist, Antoine Dufour, is one of my favorites. He’s got three CD’s out on CandyRat Records. One of the most prestigious guitar contests is the yearly Winfield festival. Antoine took third place a few years back and considering the fact that these are the best players in the world and the judging is somewhat subjective (all music is a matter of taste), that says a lot about his ability. He’s also won several guitar contests in Canada. He has a style that includes slapping and tapping the body of the guitar in percussive rhythms while tapping, slapping, and picking the guitar. He uses harmonics beautifully. Some of his music is almost danceable. One of the things that I love about Antoine’s playing is, while he is technically amazing, it’s his sense of melody and harmonics that grab me. When I can listen to a tune and spend an hour or two afterward humming the melody, that’s a good thing. Try listening to his YouTube video of a song called “Trilogy.” Very pretty. But my favorites are the ones where I feel da funk. Check out his videos of “30 minutes in London,” “Scratch,” or “Spiritual Groove.” Of course, when you’re finished and duly impressed, go to http://www.candyrat.com and pick up one of his CD’s. In fact, CandyRat handles several of the guitarists I will be reviewing, so if you want to get a head start, be my guest.
That’s it for tonight. Until next time, enjoy some music, a book (preferably my latest, Rise of the Fallen), and have a glass of wine in remembrance of a poor old guy who’s drinking only high protein cocktails in his tulip shaped wine glass…Pathetic!