The Death Whisperer Series

The Death Whisperer Series
The Death Whisperer Series available at

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Luca Stricagnoli & Domaine de la Citadelle Le Châtaignier

Luca Stricagnoli was born in 1991 in Varese, Italy. He showed natural talent on the guitar from a young age. He began studying classical guitar at ten but shortly after decided to quit. After a long layoff, he later picked up where he left off and taught himself new techniques, which he then perfected and developed his personal original style. Luca has won many talent shows and competitions. Today at the age of 22, Luca plays Serracini Guitars and has just released his debut album with Candyrat Records.

Check out Thunderstuck. As an enthusiastic AC/DC fan, I love this arrangement.

Everybody wants to rule the world:

I suggest Domaine de la Citadelle Le Châtaignier ($15.00), a classic Provençale blend of one-third Syrah and one third Cinsault, with the balance equally split between Grenache and Carignan. In the glass, the wine has a pale pink color. Red cherries, tangerines, and fresh flowers move in and out of the foreground, sometimes alternating with cranberries and mandarin oranges as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is dry and refreshing, with strawberries and persimmon joining the red cherries and currants, all wrapped in fresh acidity and saline minerality. An excellent choice for greeting spring and listening to the music of a fantastic guitarist.


Friday, May 1, 2015

Dylan Ryche & Dierberg Three Saints "Steak House" proprietary red

Something about Canada seems to draw amazing acoustic guitarists. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s so stinkin cold during the long winters that there’s nothing else to do but sit in front of a fireplace and practice. Interestingly, Dylan Ryche is originally from toasty warm Melbourne, Australia.  Growing up in the 80’s the big hooks of rock n’ roll prompted him to take some guitar lessons and learn a host of Poison, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, and Bad English riffs. He had a dream of one day becoming a longhaired, tattooed, hard rock shred guitar superstar and felt more of a connection to the music of Yes, Queen, and Kiss than the popular music of the day. However, he became attracted to the solo acoustic guitar playing of Yes guitarist Steve Howe, which led him to pick up a Tommy Emmanuel book and study the acoustic guitar more seriously. But it wasn’t until he heard Don Ross’ “Klimbim” that he realized the full potential of solo acoustic guitar playing.

He relocated to Canada (brrr!) and released his first fingerstyle record entitled Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitar in 2011. In 2012 he won the Canadian Fingerstyle Fingerpicking Competition held annually at the Canadian Guitar Festival. He teaches guitar via Skype lessons (he’s open for students right now) and is a regular columnist for Fingerstyle 360 magazine. The first two songs below are the compositions he played at the Canadian Fingerstyle competition. Hope you enjoy his music.

Platypus in sheep’s clothing:

The wine I suggest to pair with Dylan is something of a conundrum. The story goes that back in 2011 a prominent steakhouse chain requested wine samples from the top California Cabernet Sauvignon producers with the intent of marketing their own special house wine. Dierberg Vineyards was selected and the buyer in charge committed to a few thousand cases. Unfortunately, three months into the program, the buyer left for another job, leaving Dierberg without a buyer.

Enter WineAccess. I bought a case of Dierberg’s “Steak House” proprietary red ($144.00 or $12.00/bottle) from then during their special offering and I’m immensely pleased that I did. The wine is a blend of estate-grown Cabernet Sauvignon (64%), Cabernet Franc (15%), Merlot (13%), Malbec (7%), and Petit Verdot (1%). It’s bright ruby red with aromas of tart cherries and black raspberries with flavors that follow the nose. It’s medium-bodied, supple, and has a vibrant finish. You can find it online, but it’ll run you about $20.00 a bottle, still an excellent value. It’s a perfect compliment to Dylan’s music.