Along with teaching some of the top rock guitar players of the '80s and '90s, Joe Satriani is one of the most technically accomplished and widely respected guitarists to emerge in recent times. Born on July 15, 1956, in Westbury, New York, and raised in the nearby town of Carle Place, Satriani inspired by guitar legend Jimi Hendrix picked up the guitar at the age of 14 (although he was initially more interested in the drums). Quickly learning the instrument, Satriani began teaching guitar to others and found a kindred spirit in one of his students, Steve Vai. By the late '70s, however, Satriani had relocated to Berkeley, California.
G3: Live In Concert matches six-time Grammy Award nominee Joe Satriani with three-time Grammy nominee Steve Vai, and Grammy winner Eric Johnson. The group's 1996 North American tour, and features three tracks apiece by each of the guitarists as well as three no-holds-barred jams featuring all three axe-men. G3: Live In Concert is sure to please all lovers of guitar wizardry. This high-energy CD showcases the eclectic compositional skills of the three men, with tracks featuring everything from pumped-up fusion grooves to funk-infused rhythms and jazz-flavored numbers. Each tune, though, is really a vehicle for the soaring guitar pyrotechnics for which Vai, Satriani and Johnson are famous.
Few "guitar shredders" of the late '80s were able to cross over into the upper reaches of the pop charts, but Joe Satriani proved to be an exception to the rule. And with over eight full-length studio albums in the shops by late 2003, Satch was ripe for a "best-of" collection – resulting in the release of the double-disc overview Electric Joe Satriani: An Anthology. If you're a newcomer and are looking for a finely balanced set of highlights from throughout Satriani's career, Electric Joe Satriani is definitely the way to go.
Recorded at two separate gigs in January 1975 but not issued until 2006, this captures Junior Wells on-stage at Theresa's, one of the most esteemed Chicago blues clubs. It's a little rawer than most live albums; the sound is good, and Wells is in good form, but his band is a little rough (and, particularly on the tracks with guitarist Sammy Lawhorn, a little off-key). But the flaws really aren't too significant, as this is a pretty enjoyable set of electric Chicago blues in its unadulterated vintage form. Wells offers his trademark exuberant blues with touches of rock, soul, and funk, performing a few of his most popular tunes ("Messin' with the Kid," "Snatch It Back and Hold It") and a bunch of classic covers that are more identified with other performers (Slim Harpo's "Scratch My Back," Big Bill Broonzy's "Key to the Highway," St. Louis Jimmy Oden's "Goin' Down Slow," Little Walter's "Juke," Tampa Red's "Love Her with a Feeling," and "Help the Poor," the last popularized by B.B. King).