The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Stu Hamm & d'Arenberg Stump Jump Shiraz

Stu Hamm was born inNew Orleans, but spent his childhood and youth in Champaign, Illinois where he studied bass and piano, played in the stage band at Champaign High School, and was selected to the Illinois All-State Band. Following high school, he attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he met guitarist Steve Vai and, through him, Joe Satriani. Hamm played bass on Vai's debut solo album, Flex-Able, which was released in 1984.
Stu has performed and recorded with Steve Vai, Frank Gambale, and Joe Satriani, with whom he is most frequently associated. It was playing on tour with Satriani that brought Hamm's skills to national attention. Subsequent recordings with Satriani and other rock/fusion artists, along with the release of his own solo recordings have solidified his reputation as a bassist, composer, and performer. He’s one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Stu deserves a powerhouse wine to match his music, so I suggest the 2008 version of  d’Arenberg’s Stump Jump Shiraz ($10.00). The name 'Stump Jump' relates to the South Australian Stump Jump plough. This plough became a popular piece of machinery for plowing fields because of its ability to ride over stumps, gnarled Eucalyptus roots, and snags, saving valuable time and resources by not stopping the draught horse.

The wine has abundant plum and raspberry aromas that leap out of the glass enveloping your nose in a heavenly pot-pourri. The palate is juicy with cherry, raspberry, and red currents along with the spice typical of Shiraz. There’s an underlying earthy complexity that’s evident throughout. This is an incredible wine for ten bucks and was rightly placed in Wine Spectator’s top 100 wines for 2010. So, kick off the week with the driving rock of Stu Hamm and open a bottle of Stump Jump to jumpstart the week. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Rick Daley said...

Good stuff. I can play Linus and Lucy, although it's not 100% correct because i never had the sheet music and was playing by memory. I also do a version of Fur Elise (formal and then jazzy) the I dub "Bassthoven"

I saw a cool Stu Hamm "Moonlight Sonata" on the other YouTube suggestions, I've not seen anyone attempt that before, it sounded good.