The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Acoustic Blues Mix &Chateau Panchille Bordeaux Superior

Hump day’s past and I’ve got some tasty acoustic blues to help you get through the rest of the week. These are some, but not nearly all of my favorite artists. If you like pure acoustic guitar blues, you’re gonna love this set. Downhill to the weekend!

Eric Bibb
Don’t let nobody drag your spirit down:

Keb Mo

Rory Block
If I possession over judgment day:

Alvin Youngblood Hart

Guy Davis

Martin simpson

Chris Smither

Kelly Joe Phelps
Spit me out of the whale:

Tommy Emmanuel

With this kind of music, we need a robust red, so I suggest a 2009 Chateau Panchille Bordeaux Superior. The wine is inky purple in the glass with ruby highlights as you swirl the glass and hold it up to the light. Let it breath for two hours and you’ll be rewarded with explosive red and black fruit aromas, complimented by a bit of dark chocolate. On the palate, the wine is a wonderfully concentrated mixture of black fruit and cocoa, echoing the nose. The tannins are velvety smooth and give rise to a long-lived finish. Great night to fire up the deck fire pit, watch the moon and stars, and enjoy some of the best acoustic blues guitarists out there.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Andy Timmons & Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc

Andy Timmons was born July 26, 1963 in Evansville, Indiana. His music career began at age 13 with a rock band called Taylor Bay. His early influences were Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton, two outstanding session musicians.

Following in the footsteps of Lukather and Carlton, he developed quite a career as a session musician backing the likes of Simon Phillips, Olivia Newton-John, Kip Winger, Paula Abdul, and Paul Stanely in addition to playing alongside Steve Vai & Joe Satriani (G3 tours), Eric Johnson, Steve Morse, Mike Stern, and Pierre Bensusan. On several of the videos included below, his tone is reminiscent of Eric Johnson.

His journey into the world of session players led him to serious music studies that included classical and jazz. He ended up in Texas, which has a vibrant studio scene. In 1988, he formed the Andy Timmons band, which attracted the attention of the members of the pop-metal band, Danger Danger, with whom he toured the world,
opening for Kiss and Alice Cooper. He’s sold over a million records and has a repertoire that ranges from blistering instrumental guitar to blues to the Beatles.

In 1993, after four years with Danger Danger, he returned to his studio career in Dallas where he’s released eight CD’s, all to critical acclaim. He has been consistently voted a Top 20 Best Guitarist in several publications and was voted Musician of the years four years in a row in the Dallas Observer Music Awards. He’s a fantastic musician and a great listen on a cool autumn Saturday night.

It’s finally cooled off here in Nebraska, but I can’t let go of summer just yet, so I suggest a 2011 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (~$14.00). If ever there was a classic example of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, this is it.  Aromas of citrus and lemon explode on the nose. Bright, clean flavors of grapefruit, lime, and tropical fruit stun the palate followed by a zesty finish. It’s my favorite summer wine and goes great with fish or chicken and, of course, the guitar of Andy Timmons. Enjoy!


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jimmy Wahlsteen & Brazin Zinfandel

I thought I’d bring back a young man I reviewed about two years ago, namely Jimmy Wahlsteen. There’s very little biographical information on him, but I actually found some tidbits about him this time around. He calls Stockholm, Sweden home. Although he has quite an accomplished musical resume, I have to confess I know nothing about many of the artists with whom he’s performed. He studied music in school and in 1998 went on his first international tour  with Emilia and the “Big Big world.” That got the attention of musicians in Sweden and Jimmy rose to be one of the most sought after session and studio musicians in the country. Since then, Jimmy played with prominent European artists like Heather Nova, Westlife, Eskobar, Laura Pausini and Titiyo. He has two CDs out on CandyRat records. I hope you like him.

You’ve Got to run Real Fast:

It’s a bit chilly tonight here in Lincoln so I’m pairing Jimmy with a 2009 Brazin Zinfandel, one of my all time favorite Zins and only $14.00 at Costco. Make sure you’re sitting down when you taste this wine because it’s going to blow your senses. Aromas of black fruit and mocha mixed with exotic spices start you off on a sensory extravaganza. A core of blackberry, vanilla and coffee dominate the intense palate, but are balanced by good acidity and soft tannins. This is a very complex Zin that pairs wonderfully with a variety of summer foods off the grill and, of course, the music of Jimmy Wahlsteen. Enjoy!


Saturday, September 8, 2012

Royal Southern Brotherhood & Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc

      The Royal Southern Brotherhood is a fusion of some great musical names. Cyril Neville is one of the Grammy Award winning Neville Brothers, a percussion master with a soulful voice and the heart of a poet/philosopher. Devon Allman is the son of Greg Allman of the Allman Brothers fame. His guitar style was influenced by the likes of Dickey Betts, Carlos Santana, and several blues guitarists. Mike Zito is a winner of a 2009 Blues Music Award. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO he grew up listening to Van Halen and Led Zepplin and it wasn’t until later he became interested in the great blues men. At various points in his life he was homeless and an addict, but cleaned up and moved to Texas where he’s livin the clean life playing some mean blues.

Catch the multitude of songs as Zito and Allman dual each other on a cover of the Allman Brother’s “One Way Out.” They’re just a fun lovin bunch of southern blues men. Hope you enjoy them.

Moonlight over Mississippi:

Southern blues calls for a refreshing drink out on the deck watching the stars and listening to the crickets as they chirp along to the music. A 2010 Dog Point Sauvignon Blanc ($15.00 from Costco) is just the ticket, especially when the temperature has finally gotten to bearable levels here in Nebraska. It’s straw green with an explosive aroma of green apples and citrus. The flavors follow the nose adding notes of grapefruit and tangerine with bright minerality and a long, satisfying finish. I love New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs and this is a great one. Perfect for an evening with royalty. Enjoy!


Monday, September 3, 2012

Dave Matthews & a Controversial wine

Tonight’s review is in honor of my son, Andrew, who is a champ when the chips are down. He, like myself, is a lover of Dave Matthews, so appropriately, I present to you the music of Dave Matthews. He was born January 9, 1967 in Johannesburg, South Africa, the third of four children of parents John and Valerie Matthews. At two years old, Matthews' family moved to Yorktown Heights in Westchester County, New York, where his father, a physicist, started working for IBM. In 1974, the family moved to Cambridge, England, for a year before returning to New York, where in 1977, his father died from lung cancer.

Upon Matthews' graduation from St. Stithians high school in 1985, he was faced with conscription into the South African military. A Quaker and pacifist, Matthews left South Africa and moved to New York in 1986 where he worked for IBM for a short time, then joined his mother in Charlottes-ville, Virginia. In 1994, Matthews' older sister, Anne, who lived in South Africa, was murdered by her husband, who subsequently committed suicide, on or around January 27 of that year. The event had a drastic effect on Matthews' outlook on life and was referenced in a few of his songs such as "Shotgun".

Although Matthews started playing the guitar at the age of 9, it was only in Charlottesville that he started performing publicly. From time to time, local star (and future collaborator) Tim Reynolds invited Dave to join him on stage and another friend, Ross Hoffman, persuaded Matthews to record some of his own songs. From there, the rest is history.

He uses a lot of closed chords with monster hand spans making his songs difficult to play. I hope you enjoy the more than 3 hours of music.

So tonight, I’m going controversial and reviewing a wine that’s bound to have readers wondering what drugs I’ve been taking. Charles Shaw Sauvignon Blanc, alias 3-buck Chuck, will bring the criticism rolling in. Mention it in front of a wine snob and he or she is bound to start panting and holding their hand over their heart while begging you to call for an ambulance. But hey, it’s summer, I need something decent to quaff, and Dave Matthews’ music doesn’t call for Chateaux Lafite Rothschild.

The wine is pale yellow with a bouquet that is sort of reminiscent of a New Zealand Sauv Blanc with aromas of citrus and grapefruit. The palate follows the nose with subtle grapefruit and citrus with a bit of acidity to balance it out. I promise it won’t have your nose hairs falling out like some low priced ghetto wines. It doesn’t taste like poverty, in fact, I rather like it and will go back for more. Hey, at $3.00 a bottle, or less than a bottle of fancy mineral water, how can you go wrong.