Having been invited to Billy Farmer’s estate for Thanksgiving, Caitlin dedicated her morning to arranging a large flower display for the dinner table. I’d been in the United States long enough to know about their Thanksgiving, and I very much liked what it represented.
The weather was grey and damp, cool enough for a jacket, but not what I would call cold. Rather at loose ends, as I was saving my guitar time for playing at Billy’s new performance hall, I got dressed for a walk with Leo. If it turned into a run, so be it.
Leo was quite happy to go with me. The loss of his toe had slowed him down at first, but he’d adapted. He was back to chasing the grey squirrels off-lead in the yard and though he wanted badly to go after the cats in the neighbourhood, I had to keep him on a lead, because, unlike his late-brother Les, he let his nose take him into trouble.
Almost no traffic was about this time of the morning, which was...
I won't release my debut novel, The Guitarist, without thanking the bands and musicians who furnished the playlist making the book possible. Thank you all so much!
First, the bands: Def Leppard, Foreigner, Winger, LoNero, Flying Colors, Black Star Riders, and Liquid Tension Experiment. Your lyrics inspired me, your music kept me motivated.
Next are the instrumental guitarists whose dulcet tones feed my soul daily: Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, John Petrucci, Sean Ashe, Steve Vai, Elliot Holden, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, Vinnie Moore, Marty Friedman, Paul Gilbert, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal, Tony MacAlpine, Buckethead, and last, but not nearly least, is Andy Timmons. Ahh, Andy Timmons, my ear and heart were yours in thirty seconds or less.
I also raise my well-used coffee mug to the music streaming service, Pandora and my personalized Neal Schon Station, without whom I might not ever have heard some of these artists. Bravo Pandora.
This is continued from the previous post, "Exciting One Year Birthday." Hope I didn't lose ya'.
Got home from O-town on the 7th and I went with friends to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center to see Boy George and Culture Club. Remember them? I never owned any of their music but I had great memories of it coming over the radio from Savannah and into the grocery store where I worked in the 80's. And it was a really good concert. The horn section was fun, entirely on their own, but the whole band was spot-on musically, and Boy George had a great time interacting with the audience.
Hahahaha! I not only forgot about this draft, I lost the whole website for a while, so please forgive the distance between the date above, and the date of publication.
So it's been longer than a year since I started on this website/blog-building adventure and I can honestly say, it's been exciting, though obscenity-filled-frustrating at times. So much has been going on, I didn't realize how long it had been since I last posted.
The excitement exploded in 2016. Just days after returning from the four-day ultimate new-rock cruise, ShipRocked, (www.shiprocked.com) where we partied till the wee hours with friends and entertainers alike, we saw Billy Gibbons and his band The BFG's at the Charleston Music Hall. Although a few ZZ Top songs were sprinkled throughout the show, the solo project is infused with Latin rhythms and it's just plain fun. We have the chance to see ZZ Top later this year, which will be a totally different show.
February found us at the new Gaillard Center in downtow...
Hey folks! See this grin? It's finally coming together, this novelist thing. As we speak, THE GUITARIST is being prepped and formatted for a 6X9 trade paperback. It will also be available in e-book form on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other e-book sites. Pretty exciting stuff.
I'm proud to be working with a small, independent publisher called Livinoak Publishing. THE GUITARIST will be the company's second novel-length work, the first being E. David Moulton's PRODIGAL CHILD, which also deals with rock music. Must be the right place for me. We hope to have the book out by fall of this year. Though we're still finalizing the cover of THE GUITARIST, it's coming along nicely as well. I'll release it to you when we get a bit closer.
I'm still learning how to work this website, so I hope you'll have patience with me. I was ecstatic yesterday to finally get my domain name connected to the correct account, but I still can't get into the domain e-mail, so if you need me, I'm still on Faceboo...
Those of you who have visited this blog know I've been a fan of instrumental hard rock--shred rock or shredding, if you will--since Joe Satriani launched Surfing With the Alien back in the late 80's. This type of music consumed me for a solid decade.
I knew from the first time I heard Sean Ashe play a simple riff three years ago, that his stars were sure to align. Music is in his genes, you see, and I believe it flows through his being as does blood, or breath.
His first single release, Luminescence, gave further validation to his talent and his second single, Hemisphere, became the launch pad for his first full length album, Flux. For those of us who value the skills of the instrumental rock guitarist, it is sublime.
One might try to compare him to other shredders of our time--Marty Friedman, Vinnie Moore, John Petrucci--but Flux incorporates more depth and more layers to the music than mere shredding accomodates. Aptly named, Flux demonstrates the artist's skills ingeniously. I...
We were within a day or two of finishing the record and my week-long break needed to be planned. My plan was no plan. I would stay here at the hotel, go to the Velvet Room occasionally before meeting the lads in London to commence the tour.
One afternoon, I got a call labelled “Charleston, SC” on the caller ID. I answered immediately. It was not Caitlin.
“Nicholas, it’s Billy Farmer. How are you?”
Billy Farmer was made famous as the singer in the wildly popular hard rock band, 2VS. Later, on his own, he remained a successful act onstage and also had begun producing new artists at his studio near Charleston, where he’d moved after marrying his third wife. We were colleagues—friends—and it was good to hear from him.
“Billy! I’m fine, how are you?”
“I’m good, but somewhat in a bind.”
“A bind?” I asked.
“I have a group of young musicians in the studio who are very talented. Extremely tal...
Wednesday, August 5th, I made my way to Ladson's multi-music-genre venue, Ocean Cowboys for some local rock and an up-and-coming new national band, We Are Harlot. I bought their CD and I haven't stopped grinning since. What a great lot of hard rock. There are a couple of screamy moments but not enough to detract from the overall rockin' goodness of the sound.
But let's start with the first band out on stage. I didn't catch their name at first but later asked a band member. They are American Murder. They're a trio from the Concord, NC area but I didn't get much of a chance to talk to them. It was still early. Being the opener, their set was a bit shorter than the other two, but they made up for it by seemingly having the times of their lives onstage. Check them out in this video and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/officialdickjokes/timeline, where you can find a link to their website.
Next up was a hometown Charleston band called Beyond Intent. A fiv...