A Musical Concept Of Reality
When the promo material for a submission states that the guitarist may be the most original guitarist of the 21st century, the first thought is, "Oh no, not again, we're gonna have problems," compounded by the fact that the guitarist has a one letter last name (only trumped by no last name). Tracy G. is a ripper though, and shreds his way all over the hard rock and metal dished out by Epic, on their new CD, Metaphor. Flurries of 2 GHz notes mark the up-tempo numbers, while G. shows a lot of class and taste on the slower numbers such as "Solid Ground", letting vibrato and melodic choices guide the improvs. You may remember G, from his days with Dio, and he has found an even better vehicle to express himself in with Epic. Some don't care for his heavily distorted tone here, but it fits the material and production - great job!
Tracy was born in Whittier, California. He originally wanted to play drums, but ultimately decided on the guitar so that he could play in his father's band. After taking lessons Tracy started playing in his father's band at the age of 13. Shortly thereafter he joined a band called Legend. After starting and disbanding a host of groups, Tracy eventually hooked up with drummer Vinny Appice, bassist Jimmy Bain, and Ronnie James Dio in Dio. They toured, wrote, and recorded for six years. In 1999 Tracy starting writing new songs, and has since put out several CDs with a band called Driven. Tracy has also released many solo CDs, with his latest project being Curly Fester and The Blues Quartet, a hard-core blues project playing the local scene.
Through it all, Tracy has never lost sight of his goals and dreams. "I just want to play the guitar - play what I hear and feel."
G. continues, "I always wanted to play a few notes or chords and have the listeners be able to tell that it was me. I think it's important to have your own identity."
P.O. Box 3882
City of Industry, CA 91744
Web site: www.epic-rock.com
Roots Gospel Guitar
Sidewalk Saints is unique guitar CD that delves into the gospel music played on America's street corners before World War II. Using a slide/resonator guitar, Ben Bowen King ambles through familiar songs such as "Amazing Grace", "Shall We Gather At The River", "Old Time Religion", "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" and "In The Sweet By & By." The album has a solo guitar feel, but King is actually backed by the spirit-filled sounds of a "sidewalk symphony orchestra," which includes instruments like tambourines, spoons and rub boards. You'll also pick up distinctive vocals in the little-known "Baptist moans" style - not quite breaking the instrumental barrier, and very appropriate to the music at hand. This is a true 'feel good' release - you can't help but be uplifted by these melodies and sentiments expressed by the music. Excellent choice for fans of the old National Steel Guitar sound.
Ben has recorded three albums for Smithsonian Folkways in addition to recording an album for Vanguard, produced by noted Blues author and producer Sam Charters. He performs around the U.S., including Lincoln Center, and has been a featured "live" performer on National Public Radio and KCRW in Los Angeles. King's live performances are filled with jokes and stories about the music and the original Sidewalk Saints. In addition to his performing and recording, King has run Talking Taco Music for the past 15 years, which includes an extensive catalogue including everything from Native American flute music and Spanish Colonial choral music to cowboy guitar releases.
Sidewalk Saints is the latest in a string of releases by King exploring various aspects of America's music.
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
Will The Circle Be Unbroken
Talking Taco Music
14410 Challedon Circle
San Antonio, TX 78248
Ben Bowen King
Web site: www.talkingtaco.com