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Shades of Blue - Al Petteway $15.00 $10.05

Most of my life I’ve played music that was born in the blues. Starting with the Beatles and moving on through Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Led Zeppelin, my introduction to blues was through the rock guitar heroes of my time. Later on, I learned more about the acoustic side of things and even tried my hand at acoustic Jazz, Folk, Bluegrass, Swing and Ragtime, all close relatives of Blues, although of vastly different hues and shades. My discovery of open tunings on the guitar led me to Folk Blues from the American South and Great Britain, as well as the various Celtic styles and their Appalachian offspring. When this music is played from the heart, it resonates deep down in our souls with a power that transcends flawless technique and virtuosic performance.

There are only a few carefully constructed compositions on this recording. Most of the tunes were improvised from basic ideas and grooves that defined my idea of the blues on a particular day. One of the joys of playing the Blues is the ability to improvise and let the music take you where it will. I wanted to create the sound of a rhythm section laying down a groove for a lead player all on one solo fingerpicked guitar. My wife Amy White would normally help create this musical bed, but on this recording she acted as my musical consultant. Each morning, I would get up and play for a couple of hours while she handled the daily business of being an independent musician.

When I stumbled on an idea that was worthy of recording, I’d hear a shout from our office upstairs to “go in and record that one.” (Amy knows better than anyone, that my memory doesn’t always serve me well and that there was a high probability that I would forget my most inspired ideas if I were to wait until later that day.) As a result, many of the tunes on this recording were written and recorded on the same day. For past projects, I worked on refining my pieces until I was ready to record them without any mistakes. This time, I wanted to experience that feeling deep inside of letting my body take over. So I played the tunes just enough to get them under my fingers, but not enough to limit my imagination once I started playing. Other than the addition of some reverb, these performances are pretty much in their raw form and were done in single takes without overdubs. Even though I was tempted to use the modern technology at my command to fix all of the little noises and flubs, I found that they really were an essential part of the music in their own way. They make the music more immediate and real for me. Blues with the sheen of Pop or New Age music would sound watered down and too sweet. I wanted my listeners to experience all of the many shades of blue from sky blue to indigo in the same way that I did when I sat down with the guitar. I hope you enjoy it. – Al Petteway



Meant to be
Slinky Soozie
E Funk
St. Clair’s rag
Lightning Rod
After Dark
Smoky Mountain Morning
Eureka Hotel
The Darkest Hour
Alphonso Brown is back in town
Tony's Rag
Station-To-Station
Requiem
 
 

 Al Petteway, "Shades of Blue", Solid Air Records, SACD 2032  CD
 
 
 Get comfortable, settle down, take a load off and enjoy Al Petteway as he
 slides through a slinky collection of blues-based tunes on "Shades of Blue".
 Petteway, who confesses to singing only occasional backup vocals through his
 career, lets his cedar-Brazilian Rosewood Mission Grand Concert guitar do
 all of the singing here. Petteway composed all 13 tracks, and they display
 the deft, sure, accomplished playing that fans of Alphonso Brown Petteway
 III have come to expect. What comes through, however, and which is a slight
 departure, is a certain looseness and joy -- a freedom and comfort not so
 apparent on previous works. Petteway1s liner notes offer insight into the
 songs, which "were improvised from basic ideas and grooves that defined my
 idea of the blues on a particular day". Recorded in his home studio, most
 were written and recorded on the same day: "I played the tunes just enough
 to get them under my fingers, but not enough to limit my imagination once I
 started playing", Petteway says in the liner notes. Tracks range from the
 pleasant bounce of "Tony1s Rag" (dedicated to his two-year-old grandson) to
 the Chicago blues of "Lightning Rod" and "Slinky Soozie" (with several nice
 runs) to the jazz/funk/fusion of "E Funk". Petteway also pleases on the
 nicely melodic "After Dark" and the haunting "Darkest Hour". This is a
 pleasant, accessible collection with a bit of an edge.
 © Fred Kraus/Minor 7th.com
 

Artist: Al Petteway
Product Type: AMR CDs
Item #: SACD2032
Price: $15.00 $10.05
Shades of Blue - Al Petteway
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 29 September, 2005.

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