Tonight I’m featuring a nylon string picker. Kelly Valleau is a classically trained fingerstyle guitarist who leans toward the Spanish style. He’s not a slapper and tapper but has a beautiful sound and style. Great for listening to while you’re reading or working on your next novel. Very precise fingerwork and to-die-for tone. Interestingly, he also does some cool contemporary stuff. I love his rendition of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall.” Check him out below. You can get his CD’s at CandyRat records (www.candyrat.com ). Again, if the links don't work, cut and paste them into your browser.
a)Another Brick in the Wall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gInwUzAOxj8
b)Fur Ludwig: flamenco/classical fusion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-xXW66Dvbe8
c)Requiem: classical style; nice use of harmonics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JONge97uH2o
d)The Bull Run: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7ADMUukkNg&feature=PlayList&p=447B977301B3AB7D&playnext=1&index=12
So, while I was out in San Jose, I decided to celebrate a good presentation I made by cheating just a tiny bit and having a glass of wine with my dinner. I ordered a glass of Alma Rosa 2006 Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir. The Wine Spectator gave it 90 points so I expected it to be good. Alma rosa wines are highly rated by the Wine Spectator and others. It didn’t disappoint. Very nice balance and smoothness. Sweet cherries and red rasberry flavors with balanced tannins and a nice long finish. But here’s the rub: this wine will run you $35.00 in the store. For that kind of money, you’d do just as well with a Pinot Noir from Cartlidge and Browne or Kim Crawford, both of which rate about 89 from the wine magazines, but which cost $15.00 and $19.00 respectively. Don’t get me wrong, the Alma Rosa was very good…but not $16-$20.00 better than the other two. See, pragmatism has its place when selecting a wine.