The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lindsey Buckingham & Stolpman Syrah

Tonight I’m going with one of my favorite, and, in my opinion, most underrated guitarists on the music scene. Lindsey Adams Buckingham was born October 3, 1949 in Palo Alto, CA. the youngest his parent’s three boys. As a child, all three were competitive swimmers and although Lindsey gave it up for music, his brother Greg won a silver medal at the 1968 Olympics.

He started out playing a $35 Harmony guitar copying the music of guitarists like Chet Atkins, the Beach Boys, and the Kingston Trio. In 1972, he and his then-girlfriend, Stevie Nicks cut seven demos on a 4-track machine and headed off to Los Angeles to find a record deal. A year later, Polydor signed them to a contract and their first album, Buckingham Nicks, was released in September of 1973. While the album was critically acclaimed, it sold poorly and Polydor dropped them.

They continued playing Los Angeles and did some limited touring with a variety of bands to make ends meet. But in mid-1974, while visiting Sound City Recording Studios, Mick Fleetwood heard “Frozen Love” from the Buckingham Nicks album and was impressed by the guitarist. Coincidentally, Buckingham and Nicks were in the studio and they were introduced. In December, when Bob Welch left Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham was offered a slot in the band. Lindsey told Mick he and Stevie were a team and he wouldn’t join without her. Both were hired without an audition.

Lindsey was with the group from 1975 to 1987 and although their eponymously titled 1975 album reached number one on the American charts, it was their second album, Rumors, that propelled the band to super stardom when it became one of the best selling albums of all time and featured Lindsey’s song, “Go Your Own Way.” Unfortunately, after Rumors, Stevie split from the band and the overall chemistry of the group went sour. Yet in 1997, after Buckingham and Fleetwood finished a separate collaboration on some of Lindsey’s solo work, the band got back together, including Nicks, and embarked a reunion tour entitled, “The Dance.”

Buckingham is strictly a fingerpicker and was ranked 100th in Rolling Stone’s 2011 list of the 100 greatest guitarists. He uses a variety of guitars, but is most frequently seen playing a custom guitar designed by Rick Turner, the owner of Renaissance Guitars. His picking style is distinctive and instantly recognizable and coupled with his songwriting and vocals, especially in duets with Nicks, represents some darn fine music. Enjoy!

Lindsey’s music often conjures ups a dark brooding mood and I can think of no more appropriate wine than a 2010 Stolpman Syrah ($24.00). This is one of my favorite Syrah’s with aromas of black raspberry, chocolate, coffee, and spices. The flavors follow the nose balanced between dark fruitiness and excellent minerality with a touch of black pepper on the finish. It’s a juicy wine, but not a fruit bomb like some Syrahs. It’s an excellent match for listening to the music of one of the all time great guitarist-singer-composers.


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