What I've Been Listening To Lately

March 29, 2019

Ok you're not going to believe this, but Ive been listening to a bad-ass funky vibes player made a name for himself in the 70's, jazz cat named Roy Ayers. Seriously funky and groovy stuff.

 

Ive often dreamt of turning some of the sax and clav riffs into guitar riffs and covering a bunch of his tunes, I love the vintage production, the sounds define the era, if only I could go back in time and be a fly on the wall for these sessions! And musicianship and performances are out of this world. Such a nice breath of fresh air from all the over-produced perfect-pitch bullshit that happens today. I shouldnt really say bullshit, cause thats kinda also what I do, but anyways... This is real players playing all at once in the same room making music as it happens. Sure theres probably overdubs (thats how a studio album is made after all) but this stuff is real, theres mistakes, it has vibe, soul, energy, its the power of multiple people playing together at the same time that compounds the total energy and creates something greater than the sum of the individual players... hard to get that laying down tracks one player at a time. I dig this so much and totally get off on it, I love it, check it out!

May 10, 2019

Recently I rediscovered one of my all-time favorite metal guitarists, Marty Friedman.

 

I was a big fan back in the day when he played with Megadeth and more so his solo projects, I used to sit and learn his licks note for note as much as I could. But then I got into other things and kind of forgot about him until I recently rediscovered him about a year ago. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was still active and recording albums.

At first listen, it immediately struck me that Marty Friedman definitely still sounds like Marty Friedman! Which was great in a sense, because I was a big fan of his solo material from the early 1990s, and did not know what to expect with his solo material 20 years later. I mean, you never know what you’re going to get after 20+ years...but the dude can still play! its truly incredible, the guitar playing on his latest few albums is absolutely insane. Now, I’ve got mixed feelings about “shredders” albums, sometimes it’s just a wank fest. To be honest, my favorite guitarist these days is Jeff Beck. I absolutely love the production on his albums, and he doesn’t sound like some pyrotechnitian fret-flapping over lame prog changes with a hired backing band. What I love about the Jeff Beck albums is the production, the sound design, editing, the layers, and the guitar work itself is very interesting in the way that it’s phrased, edited, and performed.

What won me over with Marty Friedman‘s latest studio albums was the song structures, the melodies, the performances, and the way the songs are arranged is incredibly well designed and impactful as hell. Now the dude can still shred, yes he’s one of those rare cases of a guitarist who is in his 50s but legitimately does sound like he’s in his early 20s. He sounds full of energy, and rocks harder than the majority of the guitarists in his age group. But that doesn’t even matter in my opinion. I don’t care what age group you’re from. I loathe those kinds of labels. If you can play, you can play. He’s obviously taken care of himself and good on him, he deserves to be heard with fresh ears. He’s an absolute virtuoso and does shit that makes your head spin. And if you’re doubtful and believe it’s all studio trickery and has been ProTooled to death youre totally wrong. All you need to do is go on YouTube and check out footage from his latest tours. He’s the real deal.

So without further adieu have a listen to Marty Friedmans latest studio offering and do enjoy!

 

Now of course what usually happens with me is when I get into something, I have an insatiable desire where

I HAVE TO DO THAT TOO!

So, I’ve been super motivated to get back into metal and have started writing my own metal album, which has been a total blast and I realized as soon as I started working on it that I absolutely love writing and recording this kind of music! It’s funny how you get away from certain things in your life because you’re so busy with a million other things. It’s easy to put things into a box and shove them into a corner of the closet of your existence. I’m just glad that I’ve had the opportunity to open that closet again and do something with music and that I loved so much when I was younger. I even dusted off and resuscitated a few songs I wrote way back then, it’s a funny thing; sometimes your fingers remember how to play some thing before your memory has a chance to tell them what to do. So there the songs are... and here the album comes! Its on its way...check the Home Page for a tune called The Unexpected... its the future of my inner metal self!

TBC...​

 

© 2019 by Murray Atkinson.