The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Duane Allman &Bricco delle Ciliegie Roero Arneis

I’ve got some very rare footage tonight of one of my favorite guitarists of all time. Duane Allman (Howard Duane Allman), (November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971) was the co-founder and leader of the Allman Brothers Band, until his early death in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at the age of twenty-four. As members of the Allman Brothers band, Duane was known as the guitarist while Greg was the keyboard player. But it was Gregg who first started playing the guitar. In 1960, Gregg had saved enough money to buy his first guitar, a Japanese-made Teisco Silvertone, while Duane bought a Harley 165 motorbike. But watching Gregg play began to pique Duane’s interest in the instrument, leading to fights over the guitar. Finally fed up with the fighting, their mother went out and bought Duane a Gibson Les Paul Junior. He got the better deal.

Duane learned to play very quickly and soon became the better guitarist of the two, dropping out of high school to stay home during the day and focus on developing his guitar skills. Duane and Gregg played off and on in several local bands until one day in 1968, Gregg paid a visit to Duane on his 22nd birthday only to find his brother sick with a fever. Gregg’s birthday gift was a bottle of Coricidin tablets and Taj Mahal’s debut album. About two hours after Gregg left, he got a call from Duane urging him to get back over to Gregg’s house ASAP. When Gregg got there, he found that Duane had poured the pills out of the bottle, washed off the label and was using it as a slide to play “Statesboro Blues.” Duane had never played slide before, but just picked it up and started burning.

After years of session playing, Allman got together with R&B and jazz drummer Jaimoe Johnson, and through a convoluted path, eventually accumulated band members Butch Trucks, Berry Oakley, and Dickie Betts. The Allman Brothers Band went on to become one of the most influential rock groups of the 1970s, as well as one of the best.

In Memory of Elizabeth Reed/Whipping post:

Summer weather arrived early this year so I got a jump on my white wines. Tonight I’m pairing Duane Allman with a wonderful refreshing wine, a 2011 Bricco delle Ciliegie Roero Arneis ($18.00). This is a great wine to be sipped alone or with food and it goes well with fish or fowl. Paired it with grilled salmon tonite…delicious!)   The wine is made from the Arneis grape. It’s pale yellow with aromas of green apples, lemon, and lime that follow on the palate. It has a tiny bit of fizz that makes it all the more refreshing. But be fore warned; you’ll probably want more than one bottle. Enjoy!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Michael ackson Tribute & Ken Wright Willamette Valley Pinot Noir

Having a really bad day today. Big disappointment at work. My company put me in a compromising situation and I have to deal with some difficult decisions. So, I think tonight, I’m going to offer an assortment of guitarists playing the music of Michael Jackson. His music really lends itself to translation on the guitar and the players I’ve listed below are geniuses at the art. Gareth Pearson is my favorite young guitarist. I’d suggest downloading his music at And of course, Adam Rafferty is phenomenal, but don't miss the guitarist playing Black & White. Amazing! The music is kind of a pick me up, for me, at least, and I find it easier to think through decisions listening to it, especially with a glass of Ken Wright Cellars Pinot Noir…or maybe the whole bottle. Enjoy!

Gareth Pearson

Khan Manuel

Adam Rafferty

Igor Presnyakov:

SamboRay Jr

Sungha Jung
They don’t care about us:


Jennifer Batten

The 2009 Ken Wright Cellars Willamette Valley Pinot Noir ($25.00) is one of my favorites from Oregon. It’s a blend from nine different Willamette Valley vineyards. It truly embodies everything I love about Oregon Pinot Noir. It’s bright red in color with a bouquet filled with cherries and wild flowers. It’s bursting with flavors of tart cherry, vanilla, and a touch of baking spice and mild tannins followed by a long, lingering finish. It’s a great wine for stimulating the neural synapses when I want to think. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

G3 Concerts & Bodegas NQN Malbec

Hump day and it’s down hill to the weekend. I need something to pump me up for th last two days so I’m featuring a couple of the G3 concerts. The G3 events were organized by Joe Satriani and began with a lineup of Joe, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson. The members varied from year to year with Satriani and Vai the main staples while Johnson was replaced by Yngwe Malmsteen, John Petrucci, and others. They also included some of the greatest rock bassists including Stu Hamm and Billy Sheehan. The concerts were always brains-against-the-wall shredding, except when Eric Johnson took the stage. He is one of the most lyrical and complex guitarists ever to pick up the instrument. Playing along with him is a most tasteful bassist, Roscoe Beck. Contrast that style with the high caffeine insanity of Malmsteen. I can’t see Malmsteen and Johnson playing together on the same stage. At any rate, I’ve included two full concerts below. You can use the sliders to pan through the artists if it gets too intense. Hope you enjoy them.

Satriani, Vai, Johnson:

Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen:

You need a dense wine with this musical line up so I suggest trying a 2009 Bodegas NQN, Malma Malbec from Argentina (~$22.00). With a bouquet of blackberries and spice followed by dark berries, curants, black pepper, and a hint of cinnamon, this wine stands up strong against the shredders. You might want to use a thicker glass when you pour it as the music can be a bit hard on the crystal. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Johnny A. and La Madrid Reserve Cabernet Franc

Johnny A. is a guitarist/songwriter, born November 14, 1952 in Malden, MA. His first musical interest at the ripe old age of six was the drums. But after hearing the Beatles in 1964, he bought a $49.00 Lafayette Electronics guitar and started down the path toward the guitar wizard he is today.

In the late 70s, he formed a group called Streets that played the Boston music scene. He worked as a sideman for a number of years, playing with percussionist Mingo Lewis, drummer Doug Clifford, and keyboardist Bobby Whitlock. He branched out after those gigs and went on a seven year stint as the music director and guitarist for The J. Geils Band frontman Peter wolf, joining him on his albums and co-producing his “Long Line 1996” release.

Johnny launched his solo career in 1999 with the release of his debut album “Sometime Tuesday Morning.” The song, “Oh Yeah” became a number one single across the USA on the AAA radio format. His next release, “Get Inside,” continued Johnny’s rise in the music world and he continues to tour with his own band. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Boston Music Award’s Blues Artist of the Year.

As you’ll hear, his approach to the blues is quite sophisticated, blending it with jazz chording and scaling in a unique way even throwing in some Wes Mongomery-style octaves on Krea Gata.  He doesn’t sing a lick, but he sure can play. Enjoy!

Johnny A’s blues style strikes me as exotic, so I suggest pairing his music with a 2009 La Madrid Reserve Cabernet Franc from the Agrelo Vineyard, Mendoza, Argentina. My wife and I were in Chicago last week and had dinner in a delightful wine bar called Bin 36. If you’re ever in Chi-Town, don’t miss this place. We ordered several wine flights and this particular wine stood out so much so that we bought a bottle to drink later in our hotel.

It’s deep ruby red with a nose filled with raspberries, cranberry, exotic spices and the green pepper so characteristic of a Cabernet Franc. Flavors of blackberry, herbs, and pepper are balanced by soft tannins and a finish of spice and dark berries. A very nice wine and perfect for the sophisticated blues of Johnny A. Happy Easter to all of you. He is risen! 


Friday, April 6, 2012

Snowy White & Crane Brothers Syrah

Snowy White (born Terence Charles White) is an English blues guitarist, and in my humble opinion, one of the most underrated guitarists on the scene today. From the age of eleven when he became fascinated by the music of Buddy Guy, BB King, Albert King, and Otis Rush, he knew he wanted to play the blues. When he was old enough to leave home, he headed for London and made a name for himself among the local players for his clean blues phrasing and tasteful leads. Besides his excellent guitar mastery, he became respected as an easy guy to get along with, an often rare characteristic among musicians of his talent.

In the mid-seventies, he became friends with English blues guitarist Pete Green and they spent considerable time playing clubs and jamming together. Then, in the fall of 1976, he was invited to tour America and Europe with Pink Floyd as a part of their band. Later, in1978, he toured with the group as a part of their new show entitled, “The Wall.” When the tour finished, he went straight to the studio and joined Thin Lizzy to record their “Chinatown” album. In 1982, after touring and writing songs for the band for several years, he left and struck out on his own.

He assembled a new band with drummer Richard Bailey, keyboardist Godfrey Wang, and bassist/producer Kuma Harada to record Snowy’s first solo album, “White Flames,” that contained a timeless single, “Bird of Paradise,” that became his signature song. Bird of Paradise was later used by KLM airlines in one of their television advertising commercials.

Snowy currently tours with his band White flames, although he took a break to tour the USA and Canada with Roger Water’s “The Wall” show. If you like tasteful electric blues, you’ll enjoy Snowy White.

The blues calls for a rich mello wine, so I suggest the 2006 Crane Brothers Syrah. This is an opulent wine, deep purple colored, bursting with the aromas of black raspberry and spice. Lots of black raspberry notes follow on the palate complimented by crème de cassis. Let it air for an hour or so to catch all the nuances of this very nice wine and sip it slowly as you enjoy the music of Snowy White.