The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Eric Clapton & Casarena Cabernet Sauvignon

Since I love the blues (duh!), about once a year I feel I have to feature the music of my all time fav guitarist, Eric Clapton. No, he’s not God, but I believe even God loves his music. From his early days with the Yardbirds and Bluesbreakers to his solo  work, both electric and acoustic, he is like a bottle of fine French Burgundy that just keeps getting better with age. The first numbers below are electric while the last few are acoustic. All blues, what else would you expect from the blues meister? Enjoy!

Every day I have the blues:

Can’t afford that fine French Burgundy that goes for more than $500.00 a bottle on average, but I can recommend a really nice, affordable 2010 Casarena Cabernet Sauvignon from Mendoza. The wine is deep ruby color with a bouquet of blackberries and dark chocolate. The taste is a mouthful of blackberries and cassis with a hint of chocolate, mocha, and just a touch of sweetness. It finishes long and spicy with smooth tannins. At $15.00 a bottle, I don’t think you’ll find a better bargain. So uncork a bottle and hit the deck to enjoy one of the premier blues guitarists of all time, Mr. Eric Clapton.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pete Townshend & Klinker Brick Farah Syrah

Tonight’s artist doesn’t need an introduction. Pete Townshend is one of my all time favorite guitarist/song writers. I heard an acoustic version of “Won’t get fooled again” recently and realized how significant he was in my life as a teen. His music is filled with real life teen angst, the kind I felt growing up. Songs like “Won’t get fooled again” and “Behind Blue Eyes” speak to the kids who are on the fringe for no fault of their own other than they had tastes that differed from the mainstream. And who can forget Pinball Wizard, a rock classic. This is an all-acoustic set with the exception of Magic Bus, played by Pete solo on a telecaster and Eminence Front, a song that makes me want to get up and dance.  He’s one of the most underrated, yet best with his double time strumming style that I learned early in my musical career and used to play his stuff in coffee houses across Indiana and Illinois way back when I was a professional. Nostalgia is a great thing. Enjoy!

Won’t get fooled again:

Since Pete’s one of my favorite artists, I’ve got to pair him with one of my favorite wines, namely Klinker Brick’s Farah Syrah (~$21.00). It color is deep garnet with aromas of cherries and cedar. Its palate is full of black cherry, coffee, and chocolate with a loooonnnngggg lingering silky finish. It’s one of my all time favorite wines that I’m sure you’ll love, especially with the acoustic music of some great “Who” songs played by one of the greatest guitarist/song writers of our time, namely, Pete Townshend.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Keb Mo & Domaine et Janine Crochet Sancerre

Kevin Moore, alias Keb’ Mo(born October 3, 1951), is one of the smoothest blues men on the scene today. He started his career playing steel drums in a calypso band, but soon migrated to blues and guitar. He made his first recordings at the age of 21 when he was hired by former Jefferson airplane violinist Papa John Creach to play in his band and on his records. In 1994, Keb' Mo' released his self-titled debut album, Keb’ Mo’, that featured two Robert Johnson songs, Kind Hearted Woman and Come On My Kitchen. He was collaborated on and was featured in the Martin Scorsese miniseries The Blues, and states that one of his greatest influences was the music of Johnson. He’s won three Grammy Awards, scored films, television shows, and collaborated on too many projects to mention. One of my favorite of his songs, Hand It Over, first appeared on the TV show, Touched By An Angel. In fact, that was the first time I’d ever heard his music. I immediately went out and bought a couple of his CD’s. Later I even bought his teaching tape for blues guitarists, which I enthusiastically recommend to anyone wanting to improve their blues guitar. I’ll shut up now and play the music. Enjoy!

Kind hearted woman blues:
Suitcase blues:
No getting over you (with Bonnie Raitt):

Anyone who’s read this blog for any amount of time knows I love Sauvignon Blanc,  especially those from New Zealand and France. Tonight’s recommendation is great for kicking back on a warm summer night and enjoying the blues. The 2010 Domaine et Janine Crochet Sancerre (~$16.00) is one of my favorites. French Sancerre is different than the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which tends to be dominated by citrus and grapefruit. This wine is pale gold with aromas of green apples. It almost makes your mouth pucker with its succulent green apples, honey, and lemon flavors and wet stone minerality. Great with fish or, as I said, just kicking back on the deck and watching the stars.  I’ve got two cases in the cellar and with the blues of Keb’ Mo’, I’m set for summer.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Classical Yngwie Malmsteen and Vella white Zinfandel

Got a couple of things today. First off, you may notice a new addition to my book photos. I don’t usually talk about my writing in this blog, but my latest book, Angel Games, available from Amazon, was one of the finalists for Best Commercial Fiction in the Eric Hoeffer Writing Contest. That’s a first for me. Secondly, it’s hump day, a really crappy hump day as a matter of fact, and there are still two to go until the weekend, so to help bridge the gap until then, there’s nothing like a little soothing classical guitar…played by Yngwie Malmsteen. Okay, so maybe it’s more like a lightning bolt on amphetamines, but it’ll sure give you a kick in the pants to get to the weekend.

Yngwie was born in Stockholm on June 30, 1963. Originally he had no interest in the guitar until he saw a television special on the death of Jimi Hendrix on September 18th, 1970. As seven-year-old Yngwie watched Jimi’s guitar burn, a fire ignited in his belly and a raging, shredding monster was born. He admired Richie Blackmore’s classically influenced playing and studied the work of Bach, Vivaldi, Beethoven, and Mozart, fusing classical structures with balls-against-the-wall rock guitar. He is, in my opinion, the fastest guitarist on six strings and his picking patterns are very complex. Watch the economy of movement in his right hand as his picks. Truly amazing.

Although technically, this is classical music, I recommend pushing the volume all the way up. Enjoy!

Somehow, even though this is classical music night on the blog, fine wine just doesn’t seem appropriate. When I watch and listen to Yngwie play, I tend to gulp in disbelief, which, when you’re drinking a fine Cabernet, isn’t the way to go. So since it’s midweek and I’m going to be gulping, I suggest a box wine and one of my fav’s for summer is Vella White Zinfandel, about $12.00 for a five liter carton. I keep it in the frig so it’s nicely chilled when it comes time to pour a mug…I mean glass. The wine is fruity with an aroma and taste of strawberries and rhubarb, just like my favorite pie. And the alcohol content is only 8%, so slurp away as you blast the neighbors on some classic Yngwie Malmsteen.


Friday, May 11, 2012

John Lee Hooker & Bricco della Ciliegie roero

Tonight I’m featuring a blues legend. To be perfectly honest, my notes on him come from his website (  Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi on August 22, 1917 to a sharecropping family, John Lee Hooker's earliest musical influence came from his stepfather, Will Moore. By the early 1940's Hooker had moved north to Detroit by way of Memphis and Cincinnati. Hooker found work as a janitor in the auto factories, and at night, like many other transplants from the rural Delta, he entertained friends and neighbors by playing at "house parties". He was "discovered" by record storeowner Elmer Barbee who took him to Bernard Besman, who was a producer, record distributor and owner of Sensation Records. Among Hooker's first recordings in 1948, "Boogie Chillen" became a number one jukebox hit and his first million seller. This was soon followed by an even bigger hit with "I'm In The Mood." In the 1960’s, young British artist like the Animals, John Mayall, and the Yardbirds introduced Hooker's sound to a new and eager audience.

His influence on younger generations is well documented. John Lee was invited to perform with The Rolling Stones and guest Eric Clapton for their national television broadcast during The Stones' 1989 Steel Wheels tour. Then, in 1990, many musical greats paid tribute to John Lee Hooker with a performance at Madison Square Garden. Joining him on some or all of these special occasions were artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Ry Cooder, Joe Cocker, Huey Newton, Carlos Santana, Robert Clay, Mick Fleetwood, Al Cooper, Johnny Winter, John Hammond, and the late Albert Collins and Willie Dixon (See the last video).

John Lee's style has always been unique, even among other performers of the real deep blues, few of whom remain with us today. At the age of 80, John Lee Hooker received his third and fourth Grammy Awards, for Best Traditional Blues Recording (Don't Look Back) and for Best Pop Collaboration for the song "Don't Look Back" which Hooker recorded with his long time friend Van Morrison. He died on June 21, 2001

I’ve included some rare footage of several concerts as well as the last video which includes many of the great blues artists playing with him. In particular, at the 25 minute mark of the last video, he’s joined by Bonnie Raitt. Don’t miss it! Hope you enjoy Hooker’s music.

The weather has been distinctly summer-like and I’ve been spending time out on my new deck sipping a wonderful summer white that goes well with the music of John Lee, namely a 2011 Bricco della Ciliegie Roero (~$15.00) made from the Arneis grape. This Italian white wine is pale yellow, with aromas of lemons, limes, and apples, On the palate it’s light with excellent minerality and a tiny bit of fizz. Really a superb summer-drinking wine. Get an early start on summer with this wonderful Arneis and the blues/boogie of John Lee Hooker. Enjoy!