The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Kelly Valleau & Girard Petit Sirah

Kelly Valleau has been one of my favorite guitarists since I discovered his work about five years ago. He was born and raised in Belleville, Ontario, joining the ranks of other great Canadian fingerstyle guitarists. Must be the cold winters where the only thing to do is sit inside and practice. He took up the guitar at 15 and by 22 was playing professionally. He used to focus mostly on classical and Spanish style music, using a nylon stringed guitar. However, after attending the 2006 Canadian fingerstyle guitar championships and hearing people like Don Ross, he began arranging and playing more pop tunes.

He switched to the steel stringed acoustic because he got bored with nylon, saying it wasn’t inspiring him anymore. He is one of the most prolific arrangers of pop tunes merging beautiful melodies with intricate harmonies all augmented by minimalist percussive techniques. I could (and often do) listen to him all day.

While my guitar gently weeps:

I’m pairing Kelly with one of my favorite wines, a 2011 Girard Petit Sirah ($20.00 at Costco). Planting your nose in a glass of baby is like falling into a patch of blackberries. The fragrance of this inky purple wine unfolds further revealing, black cherries, cassis, dark chocolate, and coffee. The taste is like a fruit extravaganza dominated by blackberries, cherries, and a touch of vanilla with nicely integrated tannins. Grab a bottle or six and check out Kelly Valleau.


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