The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Bruce Mathiske & d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie

Bruce Mathiske is an Australian acoustic guitarist who plays in the mold of another great Aussie, Tommy Emmanuel. He got his first guitar at the age of seven. He studied classical guitar at seventeen and moved to jazz at twenty-one. But when he heard Chet Atkins at the age of twenty-two, he became a hardcore fingerstyle player, although he does occasionally use a flat pick. From the age of twenty-two to twenty-eight he practiced ten hours a day then played in bands in the evening to support himself. As he’s aged, he’s trimmed back to only five hours of practice a day.

While Chet Atkins was a huge influence, he also cites Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, and Paul Simon as significant influences on his playing. Although he doesn’t refer to him, I hear a lot of Tommy Emmanuel in his style. His musical repertoire is eclectic ranging from covers of great pop songs to jazz to Latin. Check out Classical Gas Espanol as an example. Hope you enjoy this fabulous Aussie guitarist.

Still haven’t found what I’m looking for:
Somewhere over the rainbow:

A 2009 D’Arenberg Laughing Magpie Shiraz ($18.00) is the perfect Aussie wine to compliment Bruce. A blend of 94% Shiraz and 6% Viognier,  Laughing Magpie is inky purple with an explosive bouquet of blackberries, plums, and expresso. The taste is full of dark berries, coffee, chocolate, pepper, and hint of wood smoke. It has a nice long finish with velvety tannins. One suggestion, though, aerate this wine for a bit. I suggest either decanting or using something like a Vinturi. It will really open up and bloom. Throw something on the Barbie, grab a bottle of Laughing Magpie, and crank up the music of Bruce Mathiske. After all, it’s the first day of spring!


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