The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Preston Reed & Siduri Pinot Noir

I first heard Preston Reed about 15 years ago and almost fell out my chair as I listened to his flamboyant self-invented style, characterized by rhythmic thumping, slapping, and tapping accompanied by simultaneous melody lines that dance around the fretboard. His music and style impart a level of excitement to the listener that is unparalleled among today's guitarists.
He’s been an inspiration to many of guitarists I review here. People like Kaki King began their careers by listening to and learning his techniques. When I first heard him I had a hard time believing I was hearing just the one guitarist, in real time. At full tilt, his fingers, thumbs, fists and hands suggest a drummer, bassist and several guitarists playing simultaneously.

Reed's entry into the world of the guitar really began at the age of 16, when he heard the rootsy blues of Jorma Kaukonen and Hot Tuna. He studied the music of his acoustic guitar heroes John Fahey and Leo Kottke, picking up technique and played his first live gig at the age of 17, supporting beat poet Allen Ginsberg at the Smithsonian Institute. Reed pushed himself to go beyond the standard fingerpicking styles resulting in his now startlingly innovative approach with its percussive, two-handed fretboard attack that had guitar luminaries such as Al DiMeola and the late Michael Hedges describing Reed as "phenomenal" and "inspiring". If you like innovative guitar, you'll like Reed. Happy Thanksgiving!

Siduri Santa Lucia Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir ($22.00) is a big pinot with lush, delicious fruit. It's dark ruby colored with a nose filled with tart cherries and  cinnamon. The flavor really comes alive with spicy black raspberry, sour cherry, vanilla, and allspice flavors. The finish is complex and persistent with elements of sweet cherries.  Wine Spectator rated this wine 92 points and I agree. It’s definitely a 90+ point wine. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!


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