Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Carl Verheyen....Live At The Baked Potato!

Los Angeles, California
April 21, 2007
9:30 PM

Hollywood is crawling with musicians; all colors, sizes and nationalities. Half of them are probably guitar players.

Now there's a difference between a player and a virtuoso. A player is someone who plays the instrument. A virtuoso, (as listed in Merriam Webster's Dictionary) is:

a)....an experimenter or investigator, especially in the arts.
b)....one who excels in the technique of an art.
c)....a person who has great skill at some endeavor.

Carl Verheyen demonstrates all these abilities becoming one with his instrument; which on this particular evening was a 1961 Fender Stratocaster, I believe in Seafoam Green.

Now the reason I know the difference between a guitar player and a guitar virtuoso is that this writer is a guitar player....Carl Verheyen is a virtuoso. Itzhak Perlman is a virtuoso. Janos Starker is a virtuoso.

Now perhaps you think I'm laying it on a bit thick here and perhaps I am but it's been some time since I have witnessed such dexterity and choice of notes.

You say, "But he's just a guitarist."

Well....the instrument has strings, six of them and many places in which to play lots of notes, hundreds of them in fact. The combinations are in the thousands. If you think it's easy, try it sometime.

Verheyen is forever tasty with the ability to meld hard-edged, searing solos into beautifully crafted phrases of shear beauty; giving birth to quiet, delicate passages with pure astral tones that ring as though they were produced from finely-spun gold. And the man's fingerings are so fast and accurate that it makes one's head swim. How does a man play this way?

Mr. Verheyen has played with the cream of the world's recording artists; hit makers Cher, Supertramp and the Bee Gees. Then turning his talents to Jazz with artists like David Benoit and Smooth Jazz artist, Richard Elliot. Carl has been credited for playing on more CDs than I could possibly name here.

Carl Verheyen has produced some ten releases of his own with his latest titled, Take One Step, an album including a DVD and CD. A stereo CD, enhanced to include website connections, ring tones and pre-ripped mp3s for your I-pod when played in a computer and:
  • A DVD with 75 minutes of video
  • 5.1 surround HD mix: Audience Perspective
  • 5.1 surround HD mix: Stage perspective
  • 96K 2.0HD stereo mix
  • A 52 minute movie about the making of Take One Step
  • Interviews with Chad Wackerman (drummer) and Bernie Dresel (drummer).
  • Song chart files to learn a few of the tunes.
Pretty damn good from a man who used to be a ski instructor. (He taught tonight's drummer to ski.)

Of course the lead musician can only be as proficient as the players with whom he surrounds himself. Tonight, at The Baked Potato, Carl had two of the finest players I've had the privilege to hear in a long while.

On bass, the most dextrous Mr. Cliff Hugo, whose wonderful fingering and control of the bottom end was enhanced by the furious and fastidious drumming of Mr. Walfredo Reyes, Jr. Walfredo, fresh off the road with Lindsey Buckingham, played his first set ever with Carl Verheyen this evening and that was no mean feat, as Carl's tunes are not your standard three chord blues. Each work is akin to a tiny symphony....and each song is more interesting and complex than the last.

So how does Carl Verheyen play that way? He's had lots of practice. And as any great musician will tell you....practice leads to mastery of your instrument.

Carl Verheyen is a study in proficiency and excellence. A musician's musician. Catch him live....whenever you can. You too, will be amazed.

Many thanks to Mr. Bob Katz of Groove Tubes for the invitation.

Stay tuned!
John Rhys-Eddins/BluePower.com

Go to Carl Verheyen's web site here!

Learn more about Cliff Hugo here!

Learn more about Walfredo Reyes, Jr. here!
(Thanks to Mr. Reyes' beautiful wife, Carina Reyes.)


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