The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Guitar Cornucopia & Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja

There are many fine guitarists I find as I surf the web for likely musicians to review on this blog. I like to have at least ten selections with most of them live performances in order to make the review worthwhile and give the reader a good picture of the musician’s style. But quite often, I run across very talented guitarists for whom only two or three recordings are available. So tonight, I’m presenting a cornucopia of a number of talented musicians with a limited presence on YouTube. I’ll leave it up to the reader to pursue any favorites for further investigation.

Not all of them are unknowns. Danny Gatton was heralded as a master of the Telecaster until he took his life some years ago. I first heard Bill Connors when he emerged on the scene with Chick Corea in the original Return to Forever group. Connors actually has quite a few recordings, but not many live performances. I have a sentimental favorite in Frank Portolese, one of Chicago’s finest jazz guitarists. Frank and I played together through our college years and he played at my wedding.

The styles are diverse, stretching from celtic to jazz to blues. Hope you find something you like. Enjoy!

Tony McManus

Julian Kleiss

Mike Dawes

Frank Portolese

Roman Miroshnichenko

Mark Sganga

Pete Barrenger

Travis Vega

Bill Connors

Danny Gatton

D.R. Auten

Paul Brett

Rick Ruskin

Tim Sparks

With the diversity of musical styles represented by these guitarists, I thought I’d pair them with a “best buy” that should be widely available. The 2007 Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja ($10.00) is a blend of 85% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, and 5% Mazuelo. The wine is garnet red with sweet aromas of cherry, raspberry, and vanilla. The palate follows with cherry, blackberry, caramel, peppery herbs, and soft tannins. This is a smooth drinking wine that pairs well with food or works fine on its own. For $10.00, it’s a bargain and a great alternative to that six-pack of beer you planned on consuming during the football games this week end. Plus, it’s heart healthy. Skip the half time shows and sip a glass of Campo Viejo Tempranillo Rioja while you listen to some very fine guitarists.


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