Tag Archives: Jeff Beck

Backyard Astronomy From Chris Forte Invites You To A Magical Music World

22 Apr

When listening to Backyard Astronomy by Chris Forte, listeners will hear a musician flat out within the first strums of the guitar. Everything is seamless when you take a listen and are taken by the musical arrangement from the beginning. A fun,standout track on the album would definitely be In A Funk. Although it’s instrumental you can hear the waves and dips the song takes the listener instrumentally. With the packed sound and the keys of the keyboard, the track will get listeners hyped. As the album goes on, its a mix of not only more instrumental tracks, but those of different genres as well. The track Tranquillo mixes Spanish influences and rhythmic beats that sound worldly. It takes you to a musical world of romance and a feeling of passion. The whole album from start to finish literally feels like Forte holds your hand into a trip of music time travel mixed with his musical world he has created.

Artist Website: https://chrisforteguitar.com

For More Listening:

Backstage Stories From Robertas Semeniukas Channels All Rock Anthems & Angst Into Excellence

25 Apr

Hailing from Lithuania, Robertas Semeniukas pursues nothing short of passion and dedication in his music. With Backstage Stories consisting of 20 tracks, do not let that stop you from listening. Once you play the first track, you will be hooked. An interesting observation about this album is that it consists of 8 vocal tracks and 12 instrumental ones. Robertas Semeniukas carries a wordly sound in his music and this can be heavily attributed to him playing and recording with a variety of bands over the course of his music career. It is no surprise when one takes a listen to the album, they will hear the influences of Jeff Beck, Slash, Guns N’Roses, Queen, and Metallica to name a few. Semeniukas’s music clearly shows that he has an all around talent at producing, composing, and arranging his music into something extraordinary. With a dedication to his music, he has collaborated with musicians around the world and has performed amongst festivals as well. He is multi-faceted as he extends his musical talents to television projects, session musician, and producer/collaborator as well, Robertas Semeniukas is a prolific composer, producer, arranger, professional guitarist and singer. Pushing that level of passion even further, he also has extended his knowledge into educating future music makers in master classes in Lithuania and around the world. Driven by a deep love for his craft, Robertas’s music has earned him performances in festivals across the globe, from China to Texas. From the synthey guitar that reminds me of the best classic rock and 90s to slower paced tracks, Backstage Stories needs to be on stage, front and center.

For More Listening:



Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 is Coming to NYC

27 Nov

In Middle/High school, my friend Josh and I were firmly in the musical minority. While the musical tastes of others impulsively changed with the charts, we were staunch in our love for classic Blues. That love was engendered by Eric Clapton. As teens, we created a “Clapton is God” AOL blog page expressing our adoration for the guitar legend. It was crudely done, but the purpose was clear. While others looked up to Eminem, we looked up to Eric Clapton.

Clapton has always represented a prodigious musical skill that transcends music itself. Not many musicians can transform from musician to icon, and those that do are often outspoken and flashy. With the power of a remarkably proficient playing style and a granular, experienced voice, Clapton has shaped and transformed the Blues. He has carried the torch of his inspirations to a new generation of music lovers and players. Heck, when Josh first learned guitar he immediately explored hammer-ons and pull-offs because of the seminal opening riff of “Layla.”

Thus, when Josh and I have the opportunity to see Eric Clapton, we do. We are only in our early 20s, though, so we have seen Clapton three times (we are lucky that we are located in a concert hub like New York). Soon we will add a fourth concert to the list, and, wow, what a concert it will be.

I will say I am not sure any concert can trump the Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood show at the Izod Center (6/10/09). That concert also sparked my first review for the Music Court (can be accessed there).

The Crossroads Guitar Festival 2013 is coming to Madison Square Garden in April of 2013. Oddly enough, the first night of the two-night event falls on April 12, my friend Josh’s birthday. Quite a present, indeed. The Crossroads Guitar Festival is a triennial musical festival and benefit concert that features a hand-picked line-up of guitarists at Clapton’s discretion – so you can be assured it will be epic. The line-up has transformed since the first show in 2004. In 2010, the Festival was held in Chicago (also held in Illinois in 2007), and many of the artists that appeared in the 2010 show will perform at MSG in April.

The full list of performers (brace yourself) is:

  • Jeff Beck
  • Dave Biller
  • Booker T
  • Doyle Bramhall II
  • Allman Brothers Band
  • Gary Clark Jr.
  • Eric Clapton
  • Citizen Cope
  • Robert Cray
  • Andy Fairweather Low
  • Vince Gill
  • John Mayer
  • Blake Mills
  • Keb Mo
  • Brad Paisley
  • Robert Randolph
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Robbie Robertson
  • John Scofield
  • Keith Urban
  • Jimmy Vaughan
  • Buddy Guy
  • Allan Holdsworth
  • BB King
  • Earl Klugh
  • Sonny Landreth
  • Jonny Lang
  • Albert Lee
  • Los Lobos
  • Taj Mahal

Where do I begin? Seriously, it is like Thanksgiving dinner. There is turkey, stuffing, and sweet potato, and you just don’t know where to start. Luckily, the MSG stage will serve as a large plate and the audience will be able to feast their eyes AND ears on the music of these great musicians. Some artists serve obvious excitement. B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Jeff Beck, and Albert Lee are legends. The Allman Brothers Band will make their first appearance at the Festival, and that has serious blow-your-socks off potential. Can I please ask for a rendition of “Layla” with Derek Trucks reprising Duane Allman’s role on slide guitar? I am also excited to see rising star Gary Clark Jr. play upon his Jimi Hendrix influence. I can just keep on saying I am also because I am excited about all acts.

It should be noted that all acts will NOT appear on both nights. With the amount of talent present, though, you will listen to something great! You will also be supporting a worthy cause. The Crossroads Centre, Antigua, was founded in 1998 to provide treatment to addicted individuals. As Clapton was once afflicted with addiction, this is a personal cause.

For those with tickets to the show, there will be free admission to a “Guitar Center Road to Crossroads Exhibition” which will feature a diverse display of guitar-related memorabilia including the “Legends Guitar Walk,” which will display some of the most expensive guitars in history. It’s like a mini Rock n’ Roll Hall-of-Fame exhibit on the Terrace Level of MSG. The exhibit opens at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 13.

Like the Guitar Fest on Facebook and follow it on Twitter.

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday (11/30) at Noon EST. They can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com. I will be on Ticketmaster frantically refreshing the page for tickets at 11:55 a.m.! See you there.

Six Degrees of Your iPod: Kaleidoscope to The Amboy Dukes (with Rusty Day in between)

18 Jan

*I have a theory that all music is somewhat related. All artists have some connection (whether it be inspiration, concert, producer, etc.) with other artists which have connections with other artists. It may be confusing but it is most likely true. The iPod allows for all of this music to be randomly dispersed or, in iPod terms, shuffled. Six Degrees of Your iPod is an easy game to play. Go to your iPod (or other musical device) and play one song. Do not use that song. Then, after you make sure your iPod is set to random, skip to the next song. Starting with that song post six songs on the comments and attempt to connect the first and sixth song. If I am right, you will be able to find a connection between the first and sixth. And, that is exactly what I am going to try to do. Let’s play the musical version of the Kevin Bacon classic.*

The U.S. Kaleidoscope

1.) “Minnie the Moocher” by Kaleidoscope (US).

Kaleidoscope – not to confused with the UK psychedelic band with the same name – was a psychedelic folk band that operated between 1966-1970, releasing singles on Epic Records and then fading off into the abyss with many other talented bands like them. The band won their recording contract with Epic Records because of their stringed prowess. The group certainly knew how to play their strings. They also could play practically any genre of music. Seriously. Rock, blues, folk, jazz, middle-eastern; you name it they’d play it. This is evident in the song featured today. “Minnie the Moocher” is a jazz song first recorded by Cab Calloway (an influence on the group). It is based, both musically and lyrically, on Frankie Jaxon’s 1927 “Willie the Weeper.” Calloway’s version is famous for his call and response scatting, which Kaleidoscope attempts to imitate in their version (below).

2.) “Sleep” by The Dandy Warhols

3.) You’re the Cocaine” by Joshua James

4.) “My Fight” by Greg Laswell

5.) “Hang on Sloopy” by McCoys

6.) “Journey to the Center of the Mind” by The Amboy Dukes

“Journey to the Center of the Mind” is the pinnacle of The Amboy Dukes’ success. The song is a psychedelic-rock masterpiece. In 1968, the song was released as track 1 on side two of Journey to the Center of the Mind. The album is a solid piece of conventional late 60’s psychedelic music. The Amboy Dukes are most famous for launching the career of guitarist Ted Nugent.

The Connection

I think this is going to be an easy one. The last few times I have played Six Degrees I have been stuck with next to impossible connections. Today I get to play around with two American psychedelic bands that were playing music during the same years. The only difference is the type of psychedelic music. Kaleidoscope were playing psych folk in LA and The Amboy Dukes were playing hard psychedelic rock in Michigan.

This is actually too simple. I can take a shortcut on this one and immediately connect the record label. Kaleidoscope released their music on Epic Records and Ted Nugent, after dropping the Amboy Dukes band name in 1975, went to Epic Records. So, yes, at different times members of each band played under the umbrella of Epic Records. But come on, that’s too easy.

I have to choose something much more complex. Kaleidoscope’s band leader was David Lindley, who became a famous studio musician (mainly because of his proficiency playing a ton of musicians). His long list of collaborations includes one with Rod Stewart who had at one point of his career (before joining Faces) considered joining a supergroup named Cactus with Jeff Beck and others. Instead of joining Cactus he joined Ronnie Wood in Faces. Cactus did form eventually and it consisted of the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section, Jim McCarty of Mitch Ryder‘s Detroit Wheels and singer Rusty Day, who came from a short stint with The Amboy Dukes.

There you have it. I’m looking forward to your games below!

%d bloggers like this: