The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Super Trios & Two Hands Shiraz

I had so much fun assembling the rocking blog last Friday, that I decided to do something similar for tonight, but with a bit of contrast: Super Trios. The first are the G3 groups that Joe Satriani assembled and whose membership varied with Satriani & Steve Vai as the constants and Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, and John Petrucci filling the third spots. Lots of power and lightning fast arpeggios.

Contrasting the G3 groups is the equally fast acoustic super trio of John McLaughlin, Al DiMeola, and Paco de Lucia. Their CD “Friday Night in San Francisco is a classic and if you don’t have it, get it. It’s incredible. Hope you enjoy them.

G3 groups:

Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen: Voodoo Child:

Satriani, Vai, Johnson:

Red House:

Satriani, Vai, Petrucci

Smoke on the Water:

Super Trio: Paco De Lucia, Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin

Mediterranean Sundance:

Tales of the Black Forest:

Spanish number:

Super Trio Number:


And to compliment the power of these trios, I recommend a fantastic buy: Two Hands Angels Angel’s Share McLaren Vale Shiraz. I got it on sale for $25.00 (normally about $34.00). It’s a power wine with a blast of blueberry, blackberry, plum, and chocolate on the nose. The palate duplicates the nose, but adds notes of cherries, raisins, spice, and coffee. It’s a supple wine full of juicy fruit. Very intense which is what the trios are all about. Too bad it wasn’t called Three Hands Shiraz. Enjoy!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Nite Rock and Cognac

Friday at last! Time to let the frustrations of the week pour out and nothing does it better than a little head banging shredder rock. I’ve got some of the best below, including a couple that, in my humble opinion, are two of the best rock songs ever written. Namely, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and Led Zepplin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” There’s enough music here to take you deep into the night.

Joe Satriani

Ice 9:

Satch’s boogie:

Surfing with the alien:  

Flying in a blue dream:

Steve Vai:

Tender Surrender:

Bad Horsie:

Die to live:

Attitude Song:

Eddie Van Halen



Eagles Fly:  

There’s only one way to Rock: 


Enter Sandman:

Fade to Black:

Nothing Else Matters:

The Unforgiven:

Jimi Page & Led Zepplin

Stairway to Heaven:


Deep Purple

Smoke on the Water:

Highway Star:

Child in time:

Johnny winter

Be careful with a fool:

Johnny B Goode:

Mean Town Blues:

Mississippi blues: 

Now, sipping wine doesn’t really cut it with this kind of music. While a beer might be more appropriate, you could also go for a sipping whiskey or in my case, Courvoisier VSOP Cognac. It has a beautiful copper color with notes of carmel, raisen, vanilla, and spice aromas. It has a very supple entry with a dry, yet fruity palate of carmel, dried apples, toffee and spice. You get a numbing burst of heat with a very nice texture in the mouth followed by a toasty warm finish. Now at $32.00 a bottle, it may seem to be over the price limit, but you don’t drink the whole bottle…please! If you over do it, you’re gonna be joining Joe Satriani surfing with the aliens. Just pour three fingers in a snifter and sip it through the evening. A bottle lasts me about six weeks. Enjoy!


Thursday, November 12, 2009

THE best Acoustic guitaris Adam Rafferty & Whitehall Lane Cabernet

Today is my birthday and I’ve got one of the best guitarists I’ve ever heard on line for today. Adam Rafferty is THE most amazing guitarist I’ve come across since discovering the late Eric Roche. His arrangements of pop and jazz tunes are incredibly complex and he tackles songs I never imagined could be played on a solo acoustic guitar. When I was in college, one of my favorite musicians was Herbie Hancock. His song “Chameleon” is a wonderful piece of funk and melody. Watch how Adam plays Paul Jackson’s bass part while simultaneously playing Hancock’s keyboard melody. And check out the beat box on this and “Play It Back.” My other favorite was Chic Corea, author of some of the most complex musical pieces in the Jazz-Fusion genre. “Spain” was initially played with Stanley Clarke on bass and Al Dimeola on guitar, all of whom are virtuoso musicians. How Adam does it, I have no idea. His collection of Michal Jackson, Stevie wonder, and Beatles tunes are just as amazing. He’s got more funk than I’ve ever heard on an acoustic guitar. But his tone is beautiful as heard on “Overjoyed” and “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Had to finish with a Tommy Emmanuel number. Incredible! Check out his website at . Now, settle back and prepare to have a listen for a while. Enjoy!

Chameleon (Hancock): 
Spain (Corea):
Billie Jean:
Play It Back:
Rock with You:
I Want You Back:
Vitamin E Blues:
Ain’t No Sunshine:
I Wish:
I Can’t make You Love Me:
She’s Leaving Home:
Got To Get You Into My Life: 
Eleanor Rigby:
The Hunt (Tommy Emmanuel):

And with THE best acoustic guitarist I’ve heard in a while, I’ve got to pair him with one of THE best Cabernet’s. It’s a bit out of my usual $25.00 price range (on sale for $35.00), but trust me, it’s worth it. Whitehall Lane makes some of the best wines in California. Of course, this is just my humble opinion. The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon hits your nose with blueberries, plums, blackberries, and cherries. It’s medium bodied and great for sipping alone (or with food, but it’s tough to eat when you’re dancing around the room to Adam Rafferty’s music). On the palate there are cherry, blackberry, and vanilla flavors with nicely balanced tannins. Supple finish with plenty of fruit lingering for a long time. Drink it slow and don’t spill it while you’re dancing! Happy Birthday to me!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Pastorius Family & St. Francis Cabernet

Tonight I thought I’d make this blog entry a family affair featuring the family Pastorius. Papa Jaco, was, of course, one of the finest bass players to ever pick up the instrument. He was also, like several other great musicians, a very tortured individual diagnosed as a manic-depressive and who died after being beaten to death by a bar bouncer. His twin sons have following in his musical footsteps with Julius taking up the drums while twin brother Felix became a very fine bass player in his own right. One of the selections I have below is a duet with Felix and the man I consider to be THE greatest bass player, Victor Wooten. Of course, I had to include a couple of my favorite Jaco numbers, namely Birdland and Teen Town, both recorded with Weather Report. But don’t miss the duet with Jeff Berlin. Hope you enjoy this family reunion.

Felix With Victor Wooten:

Felix Solo:

Felix & the heavy Pets: 

Felix Bass solo:

Felix & Pippo Matino:

Jaco and Jeff Berlin:

Weather Report & Birdland:

Jaco & Teen Town:

For a power group of low-end groovers, I’ve got a 2005 St. Francis Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon. According to the owner of the wine shop I frequent, St. Francis is trying to move its stock of wines and has dropped the prices. This wine is normally over $20.00 but I got it for $15.00. Great price. The wine has a rich varietal character and body in a classic Sonoma style. Very fragrant with aromas of cassis and black fruit underscored by notes of vanilla, which carry into a burst of ripe, intense berry fruit flavors on the palate. Firm structure and well balanced, with excellent depth and supple, generous tannins. Long complex finish with distinct notes of spice and oak. Very powerful wine and at this price, and excellent value. Great for staying in the pocket with the Pastorius family. Enjoy!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tony Haven & Calera Pinot Noir

Tonight I’m featuring a new talent, Tony Haven, a 21 year old lap tapping English guitarist. His style is very smooth and melodic, not as frantic as some tappers. In fact, I would term is music quite beautiful, very listenable, and relaxing. But don’t be fooled. Underneath that soothing veneer is incredible talent, technique, and style. I have him on Pandora on my iPhone and I just ordered his CD. Hope you enjoy him as much as me.


No Woman No Cry:

Through the dune:

Lying in the rain:

The Hunt:

Summer Charm:

Forget Me Not:

2009 Interview:

With a smooth tapper like Tony, I’m going to pair his music with a 2007 Calera Central Coast Pinot Noir (~$16.00). Its nose hits you with aromas of black and red berries with a touch of spiciness. The palate is full of cherry and strawberry notes with a bit of vanilla cream. The tannins are medium with mild acidity. The wine kind of jumps at you initially, probably due to it’s 14.4% alcohol content, but it mellows out quickly. Very similar to Tony’s music that can hit with a burst of energy, then mellows out into a soothing groove.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Jeff Beck & Montes alpha Pinot Noir

It’s Friday nite, the weeks over, and it’s time to get down and boogie. Featured tonight is one of rocks greatest fingerpickers, namely Jeff Beck. He’s been a long time favorite of mine ever since his days with the Yardbirds. He is capable of some of the most melodic and mournful guitar playing I’ve ever heard. Check out “Cause we’ve ended as lovers” or “Amazing Grace.” For a while, he almost had to quit due to a near brush with a total hearing loss, but thank God, he’s still going strong. Hope you enjoy him.

Cause we’ve ended as lovers:

Goodbye Porkpie Hat:

Led Boots:

Blue Wind:

Goin Down, with SRV:

Brush with the blues:

Further up the road with Eric C.:

Drown in my own tears: 

Somewhere over the rainbow:

Amazing Grace: 

Train Kept a rollin with Jimmy Page, Joe Perry, Metallica, Flea, etc.: 

With a wild guitarist, we need a wine that stands up to the rock volume. So, how about a 2007 Montes Alpha Pinot Noir from Chile ($19.00). It has a bit darker ruby color than a California Pinot. A bit denser too. It’s aged for 6 months in French oak. On the nose it’s more like a French burgundy with notes of berries and violets. Very Floral. The palate is exquisite with strawberry, cherry, and vanilla combining in a medium bodied, refreshing wine. Very long, smooth finish. Try not to spill it while your banging your head to the beat of Jeff Beck!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Antonio Forcione & Estancia Cabernet

He’s been called the “Jimi Hendrix” of acoustic guitar. Antonio Forcione is definitely an incredible talent. His music ranges from world to jazz to pop to tapping. Check out the duet of he and Felix Pastorius and his version of “Heard It through the Grapevine is one of the best ever. Also, quite the innovator as you’ll see in his four-handed rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.”

Acoustic Revenge:

Live Tapping:

With Felix Pastorius:

I Wish (Four handed playing):

Heard It Through the Grapevine:


With Pippo Matino:

With Giorgio Serci; Frevo Rasgado:

Al Hambra:


And while you’re listening to Antonio, try a bottle of Estancia Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon (2006). This is a very balanced Cabernet with hints of cherry, red currants, vanilla and spice on the nose. Deep, dark red color with a palate of black cherries, blackberry, balanced tannins, and a trace of oak. Nice long finish. I ordered it with dinner (I’m traveling) and liked it so much, I had a second glass as my dessert. Great for lingering over a good book. In stores, it’s about $15.00 and a great buy. Enjoy!