Sam Coulson — Electric Classical
((Not on label) SC001, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-01-18
The YouTube guitar star who was drafted to replace Steve Howe in Asia has his own album, totally solo, electric guitars only (mostly Stratocasters, with some multi-tracking, of course) covering a selection of his favorite classical pieces. Unlike what other rock guitarists have done over the years covering classical pieces (I’m thinking of folks like Dave Edmunds shredding “Sabre Dance” and Bizet’s “Farandole,” Mastermind tearing up “William Tell Overture,” or Big Brother & The Holding Company’s version of “Hall of the Mountain King”) Coulson’s electric guitar interpretations are respectful of the original pieces, void of flash and shred, with only minimal use of effects — one might even say tame, not unlike what many other artists have done on acoustic or classical guitar. The surprises within this ten-song set are in the selections themselves. There are a few one might expect, like Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and a few vaguely familiar Bach pieces, “Ave Maria” of course, but he’s included several pieces by Fernando Sor, one by Francisco Tárrega (“Recuerdos de la Alhambra”) and "Vals Venuzolano #2" by Antonio Lauro, overall showing his preference for Spanish guitar compsers of that period. Several of these I had never heard before in any version, so reviewing Coulson’s CD introduced me to some great pieces that I hadn’t heard before. All taken, these are respectful interpretations well within the parameters of what the composers would have liked to hear had electric guitars been available back in the romantic period. Nicely done.
Related artist(s): Sam Coulson
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more