Saturday, October 10, 2009

California Guitar Trio – Wolf Trap Barns, Virginia

Just returned from a fantastic concert by the California Guitar Trio at the intimate Barns at Wolf Trap. The last time I saw CGT was when they opened for King Crimson at the Warner Theater in 1995. They’ve been together for 18 years.

I find that at times CGT sounds like a giant harpsichord. They have truly honed their sound and interplay to a rarified level over the years. They featured songs from many of their album including Echoes from the same named recent album. Paul mentioned that they have recently been recording a new album and they played a new song that he described as a Japanese/Spanish mix featuring Bert Lams on nylon string guitar. I believe the song was called Hazardous Sea.

Another highlight was a moving version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps that CGT has prepared for an upcoming tour with the Montreal Guitar Trio.

One wonderful surprise was the option to purchase a CD recording of the show immediately after the concert. I’d say at least 100 or so people took advantage of this. They used a cd burning station that burned 9 CDs at a time. I’ve heard of this capability, but this was the first time I had attended a concert with this option. This should be mandatory at all concerts.

The CGT were gracious enough to come out and mingle and sign CDs while they were being burned. I chatted briefly with Paul and asked a bit about the Roland V-Guitar synths they were using. Apparently, they have MIDI interfaces built into their acoustic Breedlove guitars. I’ve played a Breedlove and have considered purchasing one. I also asked Paul if he was familiar with the French band Philharmonie? He respond that they indeed were and that Bert Lams (from Belgium) knew them. Apparently, Philharmonie also attended the Crafty Guitarist seminars held by Robert Fripp. CGT at times resembles the music of Philharmonie.

The house sound of the Barns was spot on and a perfect environment for what was the third appearance by CGT in this venue

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