24 May 2007

richard smith

Stunning, stunning guitar 'happening' at the Ionian Academy.

  • Vasilis Rakopoulos, Prof of guitar in Athens.
  • Richard Smith, (Los Angeles)
  • Francesco Buzzurro, (Sicily)

    The program read that, "from opposite sides of the world, ...perform a diverse program that was first presented on March 21st 2007 , in Alfred Newman Hall , USC, USA.

    What the dynamic trio did was simply shred every note on every fret.

    Stunning for the cheapness of the tickets (free); stunning for the youthfulness and enthusiasm of the audience; stunning for the friendliness of the players.

    • Vasilis is a legend, with his tete farouche and wonderful "Smyrna" lyrics.
    • Francesco played one of those skinny Ovation-shaped guitars and has one of those classical right-hand plucking postures that speak of a very disciplined tutoring. If Segovia was alive today, he'd be dead over the japes his disciples are getting up to.
    • Richard was magnifique on an assortment of weirdo axes. Lotsa Wes, touch of Larry Carlton, bags of Vai and of course Rich's own genius.

    Afterwards, my bunch walked down to Capodistriou and had some drinks. Along came the musicians so we hailed them and, as they came over, I realised the beauty of the situation: we were two Brits, two Italians, and a Greek - three of us guitarists - chatting to a non-Greek speaking American, non-Greek Italian, and my lord Vasilis (whom Calliope knew from way back).

    Rich turned out to be from Eugene with a place in the Juans so we talked NW USA and I got him to divulge how he switched so deftly between plectrum and finger style including his definitive rasgueados.

    One of those magical ends to a magical evening that lodges forever in memory.

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