Posts Tagged ‘finger-style guitar’

Alien Guitars

May 8, 2014

Richard Leo Johnson Returns with a Trip Even Further Out on the Limb

W203Richard Leo Johnson first came to our intention in 1999 when he released a pair of albums on Blue Note Records. He was a ferocious finger-style guitarist, taking the techniques developed by Michael Hedges and pushing them further. Then he went off into a much more rustic direction, playing old acoustic guitars and adopting character like Charlie Shoe and Vernon McAlister. He created stories around these men and inhabited them on albums like  Who Knew Charlie Shoe and The Legend of Vernon McAlister. In the process, Johnson created a wholly original music that was as dusty as a hobo camp and as avant-garde as a Frank Gehry building.

ALien-GuitarNow Johnson has returned with a new CD called Celeste that tells the tale of Vernon McAlister’s alien abduction. He plays the music on a Martin custom “alien” guitar that includes a theremin. If you know the properties and playing techniques of a theremin, I don’t see how this can work, but you can hear it tonight on Echoes.  Here he is whipping it out four years ago on 12-string.

BleedsWe’ll also hear new music from Erik Scott, the erstwhile bassist with artists like Alice Cooper and Flo & Eddie and co-founder of the alt-rock group Sonia Dada. He’s released his second solo album, ….And the Earth Bleeds featuring his beautiful, melodic bass playing. You can hear it on Echoes tonight.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))

Hidden Treasures-225Join the Echoes CD of the Month Club. and get  Hans Christian’s  Hidden Treasures, the May CD of the Month.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.   You can do it all right here.

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LRC19-250pxJoin us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line. Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Cover Me Over, the Echoes Cover Show.

November 13, 2013

MetallicaYou can’t pull back the sheets of a new album these days without finding someone covering tunes by other people.  There’s a whole cottage industry of people just covering Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” and full album covers are almost the norm.  Today we go undercover to hear music by artists you know performed by other artists.   These shows are always fun because we find Echoes artists covering rockers who usually don’t get played on the show.  There’s no “Hallelujah” on this one but you’ll hear Patti Smith reconfigured by Tricky;  the old ScreaminJayScreamin’ Jay Hawkins’ song, “I Put A Spell on You” covered in a more sensual fashion by Jesse Cook and Emma Lee who were more inspired by the Nina Simone rendition;    Nouvelle Vague’s Olivier Libaux covering Queens of the Stone Age (an Echoes CD of the Month); we’ll hear some Metallica, in an un-Metallica fashion by finger-style guitarist Kelley Valleau and there’s Bruce Springsteen, covered by Dessa.

SpringsteenAnd this being Echoes, you have to have a cover of Pink Floyd, so I have three of them, Dar Williams covering “Comfortably Numb”, Lia Ices with a haunting take on “Wish You Were Here” and of course “Echoes” covered by electronica artist Banco de Gaia.

Go between the sheets with us tonight on Echoes Undercover.

John Diliberto (((echoes)))


InnocentsPick up you copy of Transmissions in the Echoes Store.  Current members of the Echoes CD of the Month Club will be getting Transmissions with their next CD.  You can join them in getting a great CD every month by signing up for the  Echoes CD of the Month Club.  New members will get Moby’s Innocents album, our November CD of the Month and a BONUS CD of Bombay Dub Orchestra’s Tales from the Grand Bazaar.  You’ll get great CDs and help support Echoes at the same time.  You can do it all right here.
TalesEchoes On Line
Now you can go Mobile with Echoes On-Line.
Find out how you can listen to Echoes 24/7 wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad or Droid.

Join us on Facebook where you’ll get all the Echoes news so you won’t be left behind when Dead Can Dance appear on the show, Tangerine Dream tours or Brian Eno drops a new iPad album. Or Follow us on Twitter@echoesradio.

International Guitar Night Lands

January 11, 2011

It’s only the first month of the year, but already this has to be THE tour for finger-style guitar enthusiasts.  International Guitar Night is in it’s 11th year and tomorrow they launch their US tour at Crossroads Music in Philadelphia.

This is a monster show of finger-style guitarists that we’ve featured for the last 4 years on Echoes.  It’s  worth catching if only for the guitar wizardry of Pino Forastiere who does amazing and melodic things with an acoustic guitar, calling up comparisons to Michael Hedges for his intricate two handed, orchestral approach.

The other guys aren’t bad either, including Brian Gore, who created the tour, English guitarist Clive Carroll and Alexandre Gismonti, son of famed Brazilian guitarist/pianist/composer Egberto Gismonti.   Philadelphia is the first stop on a North American tour that takes them to Echoes cities like Owings Mills, Maryland and Flushing, NY.

Each year, International Guitar Night has a different set of musicians with only Brian Gore, the ringmaster, as a stable center.  Be sure to catch this unique formation, which includes solos, duos, trios and quartets of these master players. It will only happen this year.  Tour dates and info can be found on the International Guitar Night website.

If we don’t get snowed out, IGN will be recording on Echoes Wednesday.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

A Decade of International Guitar Nights

March 23, 2010

10 Years of International Guitar Nights

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IGN @ Echoes

You can hear an audio podcast of this interview with music

There are a few all acoustic guitar ensembles out there, but the revolving members of International Guitar Night lives up to it’s name with a global cast of players.  Celebrating its 10th year, International Guitar Night is led by Brian Gore. He’s the only constant in a quartet where the other three chairs change each year drawing upon guitarists in the folk, classical and jazz worlds as well as musicians from Africa, South America and across Europe.  The latest edition of the group swung by Echoes earlier this year.

There are some guitarists for whom one guitar isn’t enough.  Brian Gore is one of them.  On his own, he’s a deft finger-style player weaving the intricate paisley dappled melodies and rhythm lines of his own compositions.  Back in 1980 Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia, released the albums Friday Night in San Francisco, an all acoustic guitar performance.

Brian Gore:  Well, as a matter of fact I saw that show when they were recording it back when I was about 18 years old. And it definitely left a very strong impression on me.

Twenty years later, Brian Gore realized his ambition of a guitar ensemble, but he took it to global dimensions with a concept called International Guitar Night.

Brian Gore: Well, there’s a lot of great guitar composers out there and there are people from different walks of musical life within guitar. And what we try to do in this show is feature artists that have a music that represents different kinds of cultures within guitar be they stylistic or global in nature, and so that’s why we call it International Guitar Night.

He began putting shows together with groups of four  guitarists beginning with artists like Dusan Bogdanovic from Serbia,  Alex  DeGrassi from California, Italian guitarist Peppino D’Agostino and LA Guitar Quartet member Andrew York.

Brian Gore:  We’ve had players as far-flung from Madagascar, India and of course Europe and Latin America as well as North America.

Sometimes the players don’t speak much English and often, their guitar styles are wildly divergent.  D’Gary is a singer and player from Madagascar who played on the 2008 tour.

Brian Gore: Yeah, D’Gary is very interesting because he’s a folkloric musician but he is so intellectual in his playing and refined in lot of ways and what he’s doing is really difficult to discern. But the collaborations that we did were easier for me because having worked with Pierre Bensusan there’s a lot of African influence in his playing so working with D’Gary wasn’t that hard.

Sometimes, even the guitars are different.  Stephen Bennett plays a harp guitar which has a course of unfretted bass notes in addition to the normal guitar strings.  A member of the 2010 edition of IGN, Itamar Erez is from Israel and he plays a guitar with extra frets.

Itamar Erez: Since I’ve been playing with Omar Faruk I had to change my guitar to be able to play Turkish music and Arabic and since I’m living in the Middle East, I’m living in Israel now, there are all these sounds around me, so the last couple of years I’ve been playing a lot with port atones to imitate the sound of the oud. So I added a couple of extra frets in between the regular frets.

He plucks his instrument getting the effect of an oud.
Extra frets, extra strings and foreign languages don’t deter Brian Gore from finding a unity in this music with International Guitar Night.
Besides Itamar Erez and Stephen Bennett, the 2010 edition of International Guitar Night includes German guitarist Lulo Reinhardt.  Lulo is a descendent of gypsy jazz icon, Django Reinhardt.  He says he picks up a lot of ideas from these very different players.

Lulo Reinhardt:  Yes. I think for me as a gypsy I always steal stuff.
Stephen Bennet:  Give me back my wallet!
Lulo Reinhardt:  Musically.  I steal musical ideas. So, I really like Brian’s finger picking style and so I steal from Itamar, but I can’t play his Arabic notes. Because he has some extra frets on his guitar.

Stephen Bennett is the most veteran of this years group, and he still thinks he’ll pick up some ideas from his IGN bandmates.

Stephen Bennett: I know I’m going to be influenced by this guys by hanging around with them so much. ….Itamar and Lulo both just, … it’s stuff I’ve heard but I’ve never ever played with anybody so it’s just wonderful to try to blend with them as best as I can.

Each of the artists in International Guitar Night have solo albums.  And you can hear the 2010 edition of this band on the album, International Guitar Night IV.

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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