The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Monday, December 24, 2012

James Taylor & Horse Hills Heaven Le Chevaux

Back in 1970, I went to a concert with a new guitarist/songwriter and his pianist, both of whom were soon to be come a giants in the music world. The guitarist was James Taylor and his pianist was Carol King. Although I was a professional bassist at the time, I taught myself to play the guitar by buying a book entitled “The Finger Picking Style of James Taylor.” Songs like Fire & Rain, Blossom, Something in the Way She Moves, Machinegun Kelly, and You Can Close Your Eyes were regulars on my song list when I played the coffeehouses of Indiana during my college years. So tonight, I’ve listed some of my favorites as well as a 1970 BBC concert that really shows James’ guitar virtuosity as well as a concert by the original band with Carol King, Leeland Sklar, Danny Korchmar, and Russ Kunkel. Hope you enjoy the selections as much as I do.

Something in the way she moves:
2011 Concert with Carol King:

The easy listening style of JT calls for an easy drinking wine, so I suggest a 2010 Les Chevaux Red from Columbia Crest’s Horse Heaven Hills (~$10.00). It’s a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah with lots of spicy blackberry and chocolate on the palate. It has a bit of mocha on the finish. It goes well with food or just sitting in your favorite chair in front of the Christmas tree, reading a book and enjoying Christmas. Happy Holiday’s and a safe New Year.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Jon Gomm & Waterbrook Reserve Merlot

Jon Gomm is an English singer-songwriter with a style reminiscent of Michael Hedges. Like Hedges, he uses his guitar to create drum sounds, bass lines and melodies simultaneously. His songs draw on a range of influences and styles, including blues and soul.

Jon started playing ukulele at the age of two and began classical guitar lessons at the age of six. At twelve he was accompanying his father, a music critic, to blues gigs in his hometown of Blackpool and played electric guitar in the style of the rock greats as a teenager.
Jon turned down a place at Oxford University to study English and instead attended The Guitar Institute. While there, he paid his way through college playing jazz in café-bars and recording as a session guitarist. Later, he moved to Leeds to study in the jazz degree course at the Leeds College of Music. He started soloing while in Leeds and developed is current percussive style.
The tattoo on his arm is from the cover of the Michael Hedges album “Oracle.” His version of Chaka Khan’s “Ain’t Nobody” is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

I’m featuring a real steal tonight. Waterbrook’s Reserve Merlot was ranked #71 in Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2012, especially at $18.00/bottle. It opens with a nosefull of black raspberries, plums, spice, which follow on the palate adding cherries, currents and chocolate. Really soft tannins and a very nice finish. It pairs nicely with the music of Jon Gomms.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Carolyn Wonderful & Quinta do Portal Colheita Douro Red

Been out of commission for the past month or so starting a consulting business that I’m happy to say is going quite well. When I last posted, I was doing a special on guitarists born during the seventies and tonight I want to finish it up with an exceptional guitarist and vocalist, Carolyn Wonderland. While she is a dynamite blues guitarist, it’s her vocals that kick butt. The combination of the two is incredible. She reminds me a little of Bonnie Raitt’s early years before she went pop.

She was born in 1972 and is originally from Houston. Started writing and playing the guitar at the age of eight and really owned the Houston blues awards during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Most recently, she garnered the title of Best Female Vocalist at the 2012 Austin Music Awards. She may be a high school dropout, but she’s got a Ph.D. in blues. Enjoy!

What good can drinkin do:

I was cruising the wine racks at Costco and stumbled on tonight’s wine, the 2009 Quinta do Portal Colheita Douro Red. The wine is from Portugal (Douro is the home of Port) and is a mix of 60%Tinta Roriz, 25% Touriga Nacional, and 15% Touriga Franca. It was rated a 93 by Wine Enthusiast and at $12.00, I figured it was worth exploring. Glad I did. Its bouquet is full of dark fruit and spice that follows on the palate with touches of chocolate and coffee. It has a rich mouth feel with soft tannins and a long finish. I highly recommend it, especially on a cold winter night with a fire going while you listen to the music of Carolyn Wonderful.