CD RELEASE WEEK FOR EARL KLUGH'S "HANDPICKED" - coming JULY 30TH!
The highest praise Duke Ellington would offer people he admired was to say that their music was “beyond category” – and, in many ways, that phrase exactly captures the spirit of GRAMMY® Award-winning guitar virtuoso Earl Klugh and his new, largely solo CD, HandPicked on Heads Up (part of the Concord Music Group). This is a disc that clearly reflects the guitarist’s view that, “Everything has its place. The fun of it is that you are not in a box. Music has no boundaries.”
Since Klugh released his inaugural album in 1976, the Detroit-born master of the acoustic-classical guitar has become one of the most imitated icons of the instrument, issued dozens of discs, 23 of which have been on Billboard’s top-10 list of jazz albums and 5 that made it to the No. 1 slot. During that time, Klugh’s recordings also received 12 GRAMMY® nominations (the latest of which was for his 2008 CD The Spice of Life) – and his collaboration with pianist Bob James, One on One, walked away with the 1980 GRAMMY® Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
In 1989, Klugh released his first solo-guitar album, titled simply Solo Guitar. Sixteen years later, his second solo recording, Naked Guitar, earned Klugh his 11th GRAMMY® nomination. Both of those discs were not only popular, but they received high critical praise as well. HandPicked is on track to follow on exactly that same path. Thirteen of the CD’s 16 tracks feature Klugh’s signature style of solo guitar mastery. The remaining tracks are duets with three very different players: famed jazz guitarist Bill Frisell; ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro; and Country Music Hall of Fame guitarist and singer Vince Gill.
Klugh is no stranger to collaborative work. His recordings, One on One, Two of a Kind and Cool with Bob James, and Collaboration with George Benson featured backing bands. However, HandPicked showcases Klugh’s first recorded duets in the purest sense of the word. No band, just beautifully arranged string duets between Earl and his friends.
But whatever the format, the songs on the CD were handpicked by the youthful looking Klugh to mark his 60th birthday in 2013. All of them highlight the intimate, intricate, reflective and lyrical approach to music that is the hallmark of the guitarist’s playing. And all of them were personally selected, handpicked, by Klugh, reflecting his favorite songs and offering a tribute to his musical heroes.
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