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As an amateur musician, people often ask me about music:  What I like, what I play and so on.  I enjoy Jazz, rock, alternative, bluegrass, folk, new age, .... really almost any style except rap.  (Which isn't really music at all). I play guitar, bass and mess around with a few other instruments as well.  I own an Ovation 6 string Custom Legend Acoustic/Electric, a Martin D-18 12 String Acoustic with a Fishman Electric Pickup, a Fender Squier Stratocaster with a Floyd Rose tremolo (in Hot Pink), a Yamaha 4 string electric Bass, a banjo, a mountain dulcimer and a few other instruments thrown in here and there.  Below, you'll find recommendations for some of my favorite music.  Enjoy.
 

 

 

My (current) favorite song is Velvet Tear by Mannheim Steamroller from the Fresh Aire II album  (Track 10 on the CD).
 

 

One of the best rock albums of all time.  Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon spent 7 YEARS!!! on the billboard top 100 album chart; longer than any other album ever.  Listening to it, it's difficult to believe that this music is nearly 30 years old.  It sounds much more contemporary than much of the music recorded around the same time (1972 and 73).  This album was recorded around the same time as Deep Purple's Machine Head (Smoke on the Water) and two years before Led Zeppelin recorded Stairway.  This album stands the test of time.

 

I tend to think of Daniel Amos' Horrendous Disc as perhaps the best album nobody every heard of.  This album might sound like what you would get if you took the Beatles, ELO, Kansas and ZZ Top and mixed them together to come up with a new sound.  Recorded in 1979 and released in 1980, this album was out of print for nearly 15 years and just recently re-released on CD.  The album has tight vocal harmonies, edgy guitars, and imaginative songwriting combined with exceptional production by Larry Norman.
 

Al Di Meola is probably one of the ten best guitarists in the world.  His albums are best described as a mix of Jazz, rock and the influence of Spanish guitar music.  The album, Spledido Hotel is, in my opinion one of his better efforts.  It is a two LP set on one CD.  Highlights include Two To Tango and Isfahan, an epic that evokes images of the middle east.  One low spot:  I Can Tell includes Al singing and clearly demonstrates why he doesn't sing on any of his other songs.

  Eric Clapton's Unplugged.  What needs to be said about this album?  Great acoustic guitar music by a master rock/blues guitarist.

 

Yes' 90125 may be one of the best engineered rock album's of all time.  The clarity of the highs and the distinctness of the notes during fast passages is remarkable.  This album is not typical YES.  It is less esoteric and more commercial than the YES music of the 70's.  It has a more mainstream rock feel while retaining some of the qualities that made YES the group that it is, or was.

 

Weird Al" Yankovic is undoubtedly the most creative and talented artist to come onto the music scene in the last 50 years.  A literal genius when it comes to lyrics and songwriting, a gifted singer and accordion player.  The only problem is that he takes is music a little bit too seriously.

All of his albums are very good, worthwhile, wholesome music.  These two,
Off the Deep End and Bad Hair Day are two of my favorites.  They inspire me to be the best human being I can be.

 

My wife doesn't like me listening to this because of the name of the group.  (LOL)  Barenaked Ladies has tight vocal harmonies, intelligent songwriting with clever lyrics, interesting chord progressions and (best of all) they don't take themselves too seriously.  A nice mix of serious and humorous songs.  This is one of the few "Modern" groups that I really like.  Stylistically, they show elements of alternative, jazz and even some folk music. 

 

An oldie, but a goodie.  Jean Luc-Ponty plays jazz electric violin.  Well known among jazz lovers and people really into different styles of music, but not very well known among the general public.  His style tends toward upbeat fusion jazz, and he is very technically proficient.  This album, Enigmatic Ocean, is one of my favorites, for the music as well as the interesting title.  It was released in 1977 and may no longer be in print.

  Bruce Hornsby is most known for his piano skills, but should be regarded as an excellent songwriter, as well.  He draws from elements of rock, jazz and even bluegrass to create a style that is unique among pop artists.  This album, Harbor Lights, is one of his earlier efforts and didn't receive a great deal of critical acclaim, but it is a very listenable album.  It has become a favorite of mine for listening to while driving on long trips.