Apr 23, 2016
Recently I was given the daunting task by a friend on Facebook to list 12 records that made a lasting impression on me. I thought it sounded like a fun little excursion but I wanted to elaborate a little more on each one. Well, that's what blogs are for, right? This, of course, has nothing to do with worship and leading worship directly but all of this music has been instrumental (pun intended) in my own writing and playing. So, here we go:
1. Larry Norman "Only Visiting This Planet" - My first Christian rock album that showed me that Christian music can rock. I proceeded to collect everything from Solid Rock Records I could find.
2. Elton John "11-17-70" - I never liked Elton John until I heard "Philadelphia Freedom", which made me an instant fan. This particular live trio album showed me what a great piano player Elton is. I learned to play air piano to this one.
3. Second Chapter of Acts/Phil Keaggy "How the West Was One" - This record gave me the desire for complete freedom on my instrument. As a high schooler just beginning to play guitar, I would listen to this album on my Koss headphones pretending that was me playing with such proficiency.
4. George Benson "Breezin" - My high school friend lent me a free jazz album that I didn't really like so I thought maybe I didn't like jazz. Then he lent me this record. Not only did I learn that there is many types of jazz, I learned that I wanted to play it. I can probably sing every lick on this album.
5. Alan Parsons Project "I Robot" - Began my love affair with everything Alan Parsons. And the way underrated guitar playing of Ian Bairnson. This was the first album I bought on CD.
6. Eric Clapton "Just One Night" - I remember listening to this record in my dorm room and then taking my guitar into the hall and trying to play the blues. This was my intro to blues school.
7. Al DiMeola "Elegant Gypsy" - As a college freshman, Al's fiery playing and tone was a revelation. I couldn't play anything he played but I sure wanted to. He made me work on playing faster.
8. Pat Traverse "Live, Go for What You Know" - Just some amazing blues/rock and the first major rock concert I went to, which was an interesting experience. A lesson on how one guitar player can fill out a trio.
9. Larry Carlton "Larry Carlton" - Before this album, I really wasn't interested in a guitar player who didn't play fast (except Clapton). Larry plays with such character and feel that you just can't get enough.
10. Toto "IV" - Jazz, pop, rock. Toto and Jeff Porcaro taught me the importance of the groove. And, of course, Lukather became my favorite rock guitar player.
11. Pat Metheny "Still Life (Talking)" - I never really "got" Pat's music until this album. There was something about the loose playing on the very first track that hooked me.
12. Flying Colors "Flying Colors" - Most recently, this album has taken me on some great new discoveries. I got it because of Steve Morse, but this led me to Neal Morse which led me to Spock's Beard and opened up the modern prog world to me.
Of course I could go on and on. Journey, Kansas, Whiteheart, Rez Band, Keith Green, Giant, Brand X, Lee Ritenour, Gene Harris, Wes Montgomery, Steely Dan, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Elbow and the rest in my huge music collection. On and on...