John and I have been acquainted for a number of years, as I first saw him in Portland around 1999. I later attended one of his workshops in Denver, while I was living in the area. I think that was around 2010. Since coming back to the Portland, OR area in 2013, we’ve kept in touch from time to time. In this case, John invited me to record a discussion of us trading ideas about solo guitar, specifically mixing chords and melody to make things interesting. The full video is available on Mike’s Master Classes. This is the teaser on youtube.
In 2014, I happened to be playing an R&B gig in a club. Matt Greco, a local sound engineer, was in the audience there and came up afterwards to ask me if I would like to play some guitar on a country music project. I said, “Sure.” This is part of the session that followed, with me playing Matt’s Telecaster.
This solo version of Bright Size Life, by Pat Metheny, is one of my most played videos on youtube. Pat’s clever tunes are always interesting to work on and always a pleasure to revisit.
I was inspired to arrange this instrumental version of Paul McCartney’s wonderful tune, Blackbird. The intro was inspired by something I saw Martin Taylor play. I asked him about the intro, and chuckling, asked him if I could steal it for my own use. He said, “Sure, I stole it from Johnny Smith”. Martin and I shared a number of such stories in that time period around 2011.
This song by Martin Taylor is fun to play and has a beautiful melody. It’s a wonderful piece to know on the guitar. I have a written arrangement for it as well.