As filmed in November 2006, the music release Al Di Meola: Speak a Volcano - Return to Electric Guitar finds jazz-rock musician Di Meola onstage before a live audience in Leverkusen, Germany, in an electric guitar set accompanied by drummer Gumbi Ortiz. Here, Di Meola performs thirteen tracks including "Hypnose," "Red Moon" and "Azzura."
Chet Atkins earned and held the title of "Mr. Guitar" for 50 years before passing away in the summer of 2001. Signed to RCA in 1947, he would help define the "Nashville Sound" in the late '50s while simultaneously releasing a steady string of instrumental albums. RCA Country Legends captures Atkins on 14 wonderful tracks recorded between 1949 and 1976. Atkins recorded the self-penned single "Barber Shop Rag" with mandolinist Jethro Burns and guitarist Homer Haynes. Burns' speedy runs work as a nice counterpoint, and bring out equally inspired work from Atkins. Curiously, Atkins and his buddies even add vocals on an infectious cut titled "Boogie Man Boogie." There's a nice duet with writer and fellow guitar picker Jerry Reed on "Twitchy," and a spunky take on "Tiger Rag" worthy of Django Reinhardt. There are also a number of solo pieces, including "Petite Waltz," "Yes Ma'am," and the closer, "Liza." These cuts capture a quintessential Atkins, just a man and his guitar, handling the rhythm and lead without blinking.
Tilman Hoppstock is one of Germany’s most famous guitar players and the work of Bach stands in his focus for a long time: His research of over 30 years culminated in the publication of two book titles and his musicological edition is considered today a standard work by nearly all guitarists who occupy themselves with Bach. In 2013 he earned the doctor’s degree for his research on Bach. The Six Suites for solo cello are nowadays performed on a wide range of instruments and Tilman Hoppstock has adapted the Suites Nos. 1, 2 and 5 for his instrument the guitar. His large knowledge of the contrapunctal technique of Bach combined with his stupendous virtuosity on the guitar resulted in a recording of great musicality and sensibility. © Christophorus
Listening to a work of Armenian-American composer Alan Hovhaness, you recognize his characteristic style in a few measures. His music is often broadly expansive, painting sonorous landscapes that often use brass instruments to blend with and accentuate the strings. Also, while his peers experimented with serialism or highly intellectually challenging styles, Hovhaness maintained his world music-infused neo-Romantic style throughout his life. The result is an enormous body of work that are all a joy to listen to.
It's clear that Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers were given a bigger budget on his second album, 1990's Guitar Trouble, a record that has clean, slick punch thanks to Dwight Yoakam producer Pete Anderson and star cameos from the likes of Chuck Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson. Anderson's presence and his drafting of Johnson conspire to give Conwell a roots rock credibility he never aspired to in the first place, probably because he was writing boogies like "Let Me Love You Too" to get the barroom rocking – and when he wasn't doing that, he could toss off a bit of Sun rockabilly in the title track or turn introspective in songs like "I'm Seventeen," an angst anthem that plays like shorthand Paul Westerberg.