Is This My Guitar or An Albatross?
'I'm not sure about that riff.' 'I can't hear a bass line for that.' 'You want me to sing over what?' Sigh. There comes a time when one must take matters into one's own fingers. And for me, the time was late 1999. After many years of writing pop tunes with lyrics, I had accumulated a collection of wayward melodies that didn't seem to fit anywhere. And since I can't sing worth beans, I did what any self-indulgent lead guitarist would do-solo. And, lord all mighty, did I solo. In fact, I soloed so damn much that eventually I had 25 songs with no lyrics. These songs are pop rock-instrumentals. Most of them are simpler and more melodic than what the rock-guitar-instrumental genre is known for. I suspect this simplicity is a direct result of my love for pop music. I'm a sucker for a great pop tune-whether it be Sixpence's 'Kiss Me' or Linda Eder's 'Vienna.' It's embarrassing, this affinity of mine. In fact, as I write this bio, I'm listening to 'Dreams' by Fleetwood Mac. I love this song-and it's basically just two chords all the way through (damn). But, that said-I also must confess to a love of Vai and Satriani. And Rush and Dream Theater. And Leo Kotke and Jesse Cook. Like a lot of musicians, I have an affinity for these virtuosos. And, their influence does come out in my playing (well...at least they try to come out!) So here are 17 tracks-some that are quite melodic and poppy (Waiting For LaDean) and some that are slightly abrasive (Is This My Guitar Or An Albatross?). There is also a 10-minute progressive-metal tune (Symphony in Cyan) and a semiclassical/semi-Irish piece performed almost entirely on viola (When Angels Get Their Wings). I'm very proud of this CD-not just because it represents music that I've had in my head for years, but because a lot of the talent, whether it be in the form of musicianship, engineering, mastering or artistic, was donated. I was given a lot of help, and I'm grateful. To continue this theme of philanthropy, all money from CD sales will go to charity. If, by some gesture of coolness, you decide to buy a CD, let me know where you prefer your donation go: the Salvation Army or the Humane Society. I hope the CD reflects the fun I had putting it together. I also hope that, someday, I'll take matters into my own fingers again and record the remaining 8. We shall see.