The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gareth Pearson & Clos Pegase Merlot

Tonight I’m featuring a spectacular young fingerstyle guitarist, Gareth Pearson. Gareth is an acoustic guitarist and composer from Cwmbran, South Wales UK. He’s toured and performed with Andy Mckee, and John Renbourn, both of whom have been reviewed here. Tommy Emmanuel calls him the Welsh Tornado. In addition to a whole bunch of amazing guitar numbers, I included two of his arrangements of Michael Jackson songs in honor of the anniversary of MJ’s death. Hope you like him.


Billie Jean:

The Claw:


Last Steam Engine:

Adrenaline Rush:

Jackson Five:

Happy Hour:

At Le Zaricot Café:

Such Great Heights:

Montreal Jazz Festival:

Little Bit Of Blues:

Live At Raalte:

Ullapool Guitar Festival:

While you’re enjoying Gareth, open a bottle of Clos Pegase Merlot Carneros Napa Valley Mitsuko’s Vineyard 2001 ($25). It’s garnet hue with a fuchsia rim and a nose full of blackberry and blackcurrant, with elements of black and red cherry, spice, licorice, vanilla, and a hint of chocolate. The palate follows with the same elements, sweet and lush, with vibrancy, elegance and great length. Paired with the guitar playing of Gareth Pearson, it’s a “can’t miss” combination. Enjoy!


Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday nite rockin out & MacMurry Ranch Pinot Noir

First week back from Europe and I feel like rockin out tonight, so I’ve picked out four incredible guitarists to kick off the weekend. It’s very hot here in Nebraska and so are these guys. Nuff said. Enjoy!

Greg Howe:

Jump start:

Morning View:

In Step:

Button Up:

Kick It All Over:

Joe Satriani

Flying In A Blue Dream:

The Extremist:

Mystical Potato Head groove:

Borg Sex:


Vinnie Moore

Time Traveler:

Riding High:

Day Dream:


Check It Out:

Steve Vai

Tender Surrender:

Die To Live:

Now We Run:

Lotus Feet:

Salamanders In The Sun:

Hot weather calls for something on the light side, so tonight, I’m featuring a 2007 MacMurry Ranch Pinot Noir ($20.00). From the Sonoma Coast wine region, this Pinot Noir has elegant varietal fruit character with rich aromas and flavors of red fruits. The wine shows lovely flavors of cherry, cranberry and spice. It’s got an earthy quality I look for in Pinot Noir. It’s fairly light and elegant on the palate. Oak is like light toast so the fruit components are not overpowered by the wood. Great wine for a warm summer night, tapping your foot and nodding your head to these hot guitarists. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Charlie Byrd & Perrin & Fils Vinosobres

Just returned from a two week business trip to Europe. Seven cities in 10 days and I haven’t quite recovered from the jet lag yet. Today is Father’s Day and in honor of the occasion, I’d like to dedicate tonight’s blog to my late Father and his favorite guitarist, the incomparable Charlie Byrd. My Dad once drove three hundred miles just to see him play. As you watch and listen, you’ll understand why. Charlie was a master of jazz with distinct Brazilian and classical influences. Hope you enjoy his music as much as I did as a child.



Jitterbug Waltz:

Satin Doll:

Jive at Five:

Blue Monk:

Shiny Stockings:

While My Guitar Gently Weeps:



I only have eyes for you:

7 come 11 with Tal Farlow & Barney Kessel:

Lover with Tal Farlow & Barney Kessel:

Since I spent three days in France, I’m going to pair Charlie with a French wine, namely a 2006 Perrin & Fils Vinosobres ($20.00). The wine originates from the the northern part of the southern Rhone. It’s equal parts Grenache and Syrah has a fresh fruitiness that comes from the cooler climate at the higher elevation of this region. On the nose, it has scents of dark berries and cherries. On the palate, you’ll find flavors of black currents, berries, figs, and a touch of hoisin sauce along with herb and spice notes finishing with expresso and mineral flavors. It’s medium-bodied and elegant with strong Burgundian character. Wine Spectator Rated it a 91. Very nice and perfect for listening to Charlie Byrd. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Michael Lee Firkins & Clines Ancient Vine Zinfandel

This will be my last post for about two weeks as I’m heading out on a two week business trip to Europe. Eight cities in nine days and I’m not even bringing my bass. Tonight, I’m featuring a Nebraska boy, namely Michael Lee Firkins. His initial guitar influences were Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins, Albert Lee, and Danny Gatton. In 1990, he was voted “Best New Talent” by the readers of Practicing Musician and was runner-up for the same title by readers of Guitar Player Magazine. He fuses bluegrass, rock, fusion, jazz, and country into a unique shredder style. And baby can he shred. Nothing tame about his style. Hope you enjoy him.

Laughing Stacks:

Saturday night live:

Deja Blues:

Cactus Cruz:

Space Crickets:

Runaway Train:

Hot Licks video:

I know a little:

Hula Hoops:

Rain in the tunnel:

24 Grand Avenue:

Sargasso Sea:

You need something with a bit of muscle to compliment Michael’s music so try Clines 2007 Ancient Vines Zinfandel ($18.00). This is an explosive wine with blackberry, mocha and spice on the nose. It has a mouth-coating richness with flavors of cherry pie, coffee, chocolate, great vanilla oak character and soft tannins. Try a bottle and crank up the volume. Only three more days until the weekend. Enjoy!


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Craig d'Andrea & a great Pinot Grigio

Craig D'Andrea is a 23 year old new face on the acoustic guitar scene. His style reminds me a lot of Antoine Dufour. In fact, in 2006, he finished third in the Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar contest behind Kelly Valleau (reviewed 2/2/09) and Antoine Dufour (reviewed 1/23/2009). Currently he’s touring with Don Ross, Andy McKee and Antoine Dufour, all of whom I have reviewed previously. Great listening from a young and up and coming virtuoso. Enjoy!

In with the purple, out with the blue:

Standing still:

And then you moved to Jersey:

Day Man:  

Morrison County:

Stages of obsession:

Girls longer hair:

Chet your hedges:

Guess who’s my favorite:

Canada Sad:

Three mile bike ride:

The Nurse:

So little time:

And to compliment Craig’s music, try a Santa Margherita 2008 Pinot Grigio ($19.00). Pinot Grigio is one of America’s favorite wines as witnessed by the fact that is was voted the most popular imported wine, red or white, for the 14th consecutive year in Wine & Spirits 2009 poll. The Italian-made Santa Margherita remains a favorite among wine enthusiasts for its crisp, ripe character and consistent quality. Gotta say right off, this is an excellent wine, especially for sipping chilled on a hot summer evening. It’s a dry white wine, pale straw-yellow in color, with a clean, intense aroma and dry citrus flavour with a crisp, but not overpowering apple aftertaste. Start the week off right with the music of Craig d’Andrea and a bottle of Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio. Enjoy!


Friday, June 4, 2010

Doug Smith & A to Z's Nite and Day wine

Tonight I’m featuring the music of Grammy Award Winning acoustic guitarist Doug Smith. In addition to his Grammy, he is also the winner of the 2006 Winfield International Fingerstyle Competition. His music is a blend of classical, folk, jazz, and contemporary blending intricate fingerpicking with some very nice tapping. In the early 1970s he played in rock bands where he primarily played bass guitar. That’s another reason to like him. After all, everyone knows the bass player is the coolest guy in the band. No bass tonight, just the music of a virtuoso guitarist. Enjoy!

Stars & Stripes Forever:


Order of Magnitude:  

Millennium Force:

Crest of the Revolution:

Night of the Raccoons:

Gentle Giant:

Ante Up:

Sor Phalanges:

High Roller:

Two-Handed Paradox:

Anything Goes:

And since Doug blends several musical styles, I think I’ll pair him with A to Z’s 2007 Nite and Day. It blends Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah into a wonderfully focused wine with a bright berry nose and a cherry and spice palate. Very smooth, lingering on the finish with a succulent texture in the mouth. Really nice, especially at only $15.00 a bottle. So, kick back and unwind to the music of Doug Smith while you sip a glass of Nite and Day. Enjoy!