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.
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...