Pete Kennedy releases Tone, Twang, and Taste, an all instrumental CD celebrating pre-rock electric guitar.
Electric guitars were invented in the 1930's to accommodate the big sound put out by large swing bands. Guitarists soon discovered that the instrument had a voice all its own, and top players in jazz, blues, country and rockabilly gravitated to the sound, led by musical and electronic pioneer Les Paul. The instrument didn't fully enter mainstream culture until The Beatles wielded them on The Ed Sullivan Show, and that gap between the 1930's and the 1960's raises an interesting question: who were the guitar players before the folk boom and Beatlemania, before Hendrix and Clapton? What music did they play, what did they sound like, and how did they influence the guitar heroes of the boomer generation?
Pete has spent years studying these players, meeting with the ones who still played and those who wanted to pass along their largely forgotten style (Les Paul once said, "most people think I'm a guitar!") It was a labor of love, because the level of sophistication of the pre-rock players, who combined jazz, country and early rock'n'roll with a solid grounding in musical theory and technique, was matched by their sense of fun and humor, and that all came across in the clean, bright tones and lyrical chops of the era...a sound quite distinct from the blues-rock that has dominated the guitar world in recent decades.
Les Paul, Chet Atkins and Django Reinhardt are names that might be known to the general public, although their music probably remains unheard by most. Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Hank Garland, Lenny Breau, Tony Mottola, Leon Rhodes...the list goes on and on of top players who are nowadays known only to a small circle of guitarists, but to discover them is not only an adventure in American music's colorful past, but also a joyful plunge into a sound so fresh that it remains new today, preserved in amber from around 1959...the era of Tone, Twang, and Taste!