The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Arlen Roth and Stolpman Sauvignon Blanc

Known as "The Master of the Telecaster," Arlen Roth is a guitarist's guitarist. He is a highly regarded authority concerning "all things guitar." His first solo album won the Montreaux Critics' Award for Best Instrumental Album of the Year in 1978.
His legendary guitar prowess crosses all genres, all styles, and all types of guitar playing, including one of his specialties, slide guitar. He fluidly moves from folk and blues to country tunes, and has played some of the most resounding rock ever recorded. He is a master of acoustic ballads, (don’t miss his acoustic version of Layla included below that has been critically acclaimed as being better than Eric Clapton's version) and the most powerful version of "When a Man Loves a Woman" ever recorded, which Guitar Player magazine called "likely the most intense workout ever recorded on a Telecaster." And for you acoustic enjoyment, don’t miss his version of Anji. It’s a killer.

In addition to his recording and concerts, he’s considered an important influence on learning to play the guitar and other instruments around the world. In 1979, he and his late wife, Deborah, founded Hot Licks , a guitar learning resources company, the first to videotape famous musicians demonstrating their techniques and individual styles, creating an important historical as well as teaching legacy. I have a video of Rory Block and one of Keb Mo, both have helped my feeble style immensely…at east in my own mind. To date, the company has shipped over two million videos worldwide, while producing an extensive library of books and guitar-related materials. You’re gonna like this monster of a guitarist.

My favorite summer wines are Sauvignon Blanc, Albarino, and Reisling. New Zealand gets a lot of good press on their Sauvignon Blancs, but tonight’s American version can go toe to toe with the best of them. The 2010 Stolpman Sauvignon Blanc ($16.00) hits with aromas of apples, pears, and citrus. The first sip feels almost effervescent in the mouth. It’s light and crisp, full of green apples and citrus with a finish reminiscent of a classic Sancerre. I am so glad I’ve got a case of it sitting in my cellar. A bottle of this and the music of Arlen Roth is a great way to welcome summer. Enjoy!


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