The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Da funk and Sangiovese

I’m a little late for 2009, but what the heck. My first review of 2010 will be a review of bass players I loved in 2009…not that I still don’t love them. And to go with da funk, how about a 2007 Sangiovese Di Majo Norante. It’s a delicious, full-bodied wine that compliments the low end (and is especially good with pizza). The grape is the same used in Chianti, but this is a bit more delicate with a bouquet of berries and violets, deep red color, and a fruity palate that’s smooth and juicy. Nice, long, polished finish. Wine Advocate gave it a 90 and I concur, especially since I only paid $12.00. Now it’s time to get down! Happy New year!

Jeff Berlin:
Bebop solo:
Tears in Heaven:
Bass Logic:
With Frank Gambale:

Mark King:
Mr. Pink:
The Chinese Way:

Billy Sheehan
Crazy Solo:
Sheehan + Vai:
G3 solo:

Alain Caron:
Slap solo:
Ink Illusion:

Jaco Pastorius
Teen town:
Black Market:

Dominique di Piazza
With John McLaughlin: 
New Rumba:

Rocco Prestia
Only so much oil on the ground: 
At bass day:

Victor Wooten
U can’t hold no groove: 
Solo & amazing Grace:

Stanley Clarke
School days:
Hot Fun: 

Jack Bruce:
Never tell your mother she’s out of tune:
Sunshine of your love:


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Electric Guitar Review & Bogle Phantom

Today, it’s time for electric guitarists. But first gotta get the wine set. It has to have some heft to it and since I’m sitting in the midst of two feet of snow and frigid temps, let’s go with a 2006 Bogle Phantom. It’s a mixture of 55% syrah, 42% zinfandel, and 3% mourvedre. Bouquet has plenty of dark fruit, i.e. blackberry, blueberry, and a hint of carmel. Palate is luscious with the fruit coming through strong and mild tannins. It’s a powerhouse at $18.00. For heaven’s, sake don’t spill it on the carpet when you get down to the music.

Steffan Shackinger
Perfect Waves:

Now or Never:
Drive Away:

Jeff Beck
Cause we’ve ended as lovers:
Goodbye Porkpie Hat/Brush with the Blues:

Joe Satriani
Satch’s boogie:
Flying in a blue dream:

Kirk Hammett & Metallica:
Enter Sandman:

Stevie Ray Vaughn
Scuttle Buttin: 

Mark Knopfler
Sultans of Swing Guitar later version:
Money for Nothing: 

Eric Clapton
Crossroads (Cream):

Larry Carlton
Don’t Give It Up:
Oui Oui Si:


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chandon Champagne & Acoustic Guitar Review

Three days left of the year, so let’s start out with a recap of some of my favorite acoustic guitar work that I’ve reviewed this year. And so you’re not left high and dry wondering what to get for the New Year, get yourself a bottle of Chandon Blanc de Noir “Champagne.” Actually it’s called a sparkling wine because it’s from California and not grown in the Champagne region of France, but it’s made by Moet & Chandon, the makers of Dom Perignon. It has a bouquet of freshly sliced strawberries and currents. The taste follows the bouquet adding hints of raspberry with a light mousse texture. It’s served at White House banquets, so you know it’s a good one. And you can probably find it on sale for about $15.00 a bottle right now. Normally it runs around $18.00. Get a bottle now and you’ll be set for sitting safely at home watching some of the videos below.

Adam Rafferty 11/12:
Chameleon (Hancock):
Billie Jean:
Ain’t no sunshine:

Tony Haven (11/8)

Kotaro Oshio 9/4
Dancing Crickets:

Andrew Winton 9/2
Pink Palace:
When your number’s down:  

John Mayer 8/2
Message in a bottle:
In Your Atmosphere:

Tommy Emmanuel 6/28
Classical Gas:
House of the Rising Sun:

Phil Keaggy 6/9
Salvation Army band:
Shades of Green:

John Goldie 4/26
I heard it through the grapevine:

Eric Mongrain 4/15
Air Tap:

Erick Turnbull 2/24
Bomba Checka:

Kelly Valeau 2/2
Another Brick in the Wall:

Thomas Leeb 1/26

Eric Roche 1/24
Smells like teen spirit:
She drives me crazy:


Sunday, December 27, 2009

B&B and Bruce Cockburn

Have I mentioned how much I hate winter? If not, let me tell you, I HATE WINTER! Got back late last night from Chicago driving through a blizzard and tunnels carved through eight-foot snow drifts by some massive machine. Thank God for four-wheel drive. A trip that normally takes eight hours took twelve and I reached Omaha only to find that I-80 had been closed. Fortunately, my family and I stopped for dinner and while searching for a hotel through my iPhone, I saw that I-80 had just reopened. So we crept home at 35 mph on a highway whose speed limit is seventy-five. It took another two hours and I was able to power through the deep snow of our subdivision and get into the garage. Once again, I HATE WINTER!

Be that as it may, this being the last week of 2009, I will be doing a review of the year: one blog on acoustic guitarists, one of electric, and, of course, a bass guitar review. But today, one last review of an old favorite of mine. I like him for his sense of melody and lyric as well as his guitar work.

Bruce Cockburn is a sixty-four year old Canadian singer/guitarist/song writer. He studied at Berklee in early to mid-1960’s and although he started out playing in various bands, went solo in 1968 and has been playing alone since then. He’s released thirty-three studio CD’s/albums of his music over the years of his career. He is an outstanding guitarist and a poignant lyricist with a style ranging from 1960’s-folk to jazz-influenced rock to blues. His songs have been performed by the likes of Dan Fogelberg, Bare Naked Ladies, and even U2. For those of you who are techies, he’s been a long time patron of Linda Manzer guitars. His career is too long to document here so I’ll let his music speak for itself.
Interview & style:

Humla Meditation:

The last night of the world:

If I had a Rocket Launcher:

One minute guitar lesson:

Lovers in a dangerous time:

Down on the Delta:

Call it democracy:

Live down to the Delta:

Get up Jonah:

Child of the Wind:

Soul of a man:

And since it’s stinking cold outside and the snow is up to my window sills, let’s skip the wine and go for something a bit warmer: Benedictine and Brandy or B&B. It’s a soul-warming combination of brandy and Benedictine liqueur. Those must have been very happy monks at the Benedictine Abbey in France. Has a taste of honey with a kick. It’s absolutely my favorite for sipping by the fire. It’s about $30-$35.00 a bottle but it lasts a long time. Pour two fingers into a small brandy snifter, settle back, rent a movie, and wait for your snow service to shovel you out. Enjoy!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Cream and Marquis Phillips Shiraz

I’ve been traveling way too much and haven’t been able to blog, but tonight I’m back in town and featuring my favorite rock group of all time: Cream. I heard them back in 1967 and was blown away. I can honestly say I learned how to play bass guitar by listening to Jack Bruce & his incredible improvisational work on the live albums. When you listen to the album version of “I’m So Glad” you will hear just how original he was. He, more than any other bassist, ushered in the era of the solo bass guitarist. Clapton is, of course, Clapton, at his creative best. The band just drove each other to unexpected heights, discussed a bit in the interview with Eric at the end. Hope you enjoy a bit of rock nostalgia.

I’m so glad:

I’m so glad (album version off “Goodbye”):


Rollin and Tumbling:


Crossroads 1968:


Interview with Eric Clapton & Jack Bruce:

And to go with a heady group like Cream, how about a Marquis Philips 2006 vintage Shiraz from south Australia? Your nose is flooded with blackberry & black cherry aromas while on the palate layers of blackberry, cherry, and red current jam roll out in succession. Tannins are mild with a long, lingering finish. At $18.00 it's a great buy. Especially since Australia is synonymous with Shiraz and can be quite pricey. Great wine!