Exposé Online banner

Sam Coulson — Electric Classical
((Not on label) SC001, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2017-01-18

Electric Classical Cover art

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.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Sam Coulson

Latest news

2020-09-09
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

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
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


Previously in Exposé...

Jade Warrior - Now – Jade Warrior is one of those musical enigmas that has been nearly impossible to pigeonhole. Founder members Jon Field and vocalist Glyn Havard resurrected the band in 2007 meeting up after a long...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues