Sunday, 26 December 2010

Gareth Pearson

Two weeks ago on December 12th I went to a concert from British guitarist (I hope I don't insult him with this, he's actually from Wales) Gareth Pearson. He’s a recording artist for the record label Candyrat Records on which I posted before here.

Candyrat Records is surely one of the best musical discoveries I did the past two years. Through their YouTube Channel I discovered artist as Andy McKee, which concert I visited last May, Don Ross, Antoine Dufour, Pino Forastiere and many more great guitarists. And a half year ago I also discovered Gareth Pearson, or as the other great Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel calls Gareth, “The Welsh Tornado”.

I discovered Gareth Pearson not through CandyRat Records but through a Youtube video from Gareth playing with one of my Dutch guitar heroes Jan Akkerman, the legendary guitarist of the Dutch seventies ProgRock group Focus. In this video they were playing an acoustic instrumental version of Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean”, an arrangement that Gareth also plays solo. You can check the video here. Image quality is not the best, but sound is okay.

A bit later when I checked out for possible other videos of Gareth I found out that he was also a recording artist for CandyRat Records and that he just had his debut album out, “Urban Echoes Vol. 1”. On this album you’ll find original compositions from Gareth, but also a few of his (instrumental) interpretations of well known classics as Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” and “Thriller”, Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Weezer’s “Buddy Holly”. If you’re into acoustic guitar music this album is recommended.

The first video I saw of Gareth playing solo was “Chinese Whispers”, an original composition from him and which, almost instantly, became one of my favorite songs. It has a catchy (in a good sense) melody line that kept hanging around in my ears and head. Often when music keeps hanging around it’s commercial shit, but Gareth’s tune is a non-commercial exception. It has a nice melody and good and interesting fingerpicking.

When I saw the announcement of the gig on December 12th, I didn’t hesitate and got me a ticket. On the videos on YouTube’s CandyRat Channel Gareth Pearson might look a bit shy and even a bit timid, but during his performance on the 12th, he appeared to be not shy at all. He was funny and had a great sense of humour.

It’s always great to see good and skillful musicians at work from nearby. I enjoyed the gig very much and it was over before I knew it. After the gig there was a meet and greet and I got his debut CD and his autograph and chatted a bit with Gareth.

During the gig I shot some videos which I have embedded below. Feel free to pass them on together with other YouTube videos of Gareth. He deserves a bigger audience than the 50 to 60 people that visited this gig. If he’s coming to a place near you, get tickets and go. I’ll guarantee you will have a fun time with great music. For now enjoy the videos. Cheers!

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