Thursday, February 14, 2008

Michael Hedges

How's this for a story from Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records...
I was accosted on the street by Randy Lutge of the New Varsity Theater. He said, "Look, I’ll give you two free tickets to the movie tonight and dinner if you’ll come hear this guy play." I’m hearing that all the time and I’m thinking, "Oh God, but two free tickets and a dinner, that’s pretty good." So he takes me to that little upstairs room overlooking the courtyard, and Michael was there playing for just a handful of people. At the time, he was playing most of the stuff that’s on Breakfast in the Field [his first album, 1981], obviously some pretty impressive stuff. I started writing out what I could remember of a contract on a napkin and had him sign it. It was a way of saying to Michael how completely overwhelmed I was and how sincere I was about wanting to work with him. That was one of the quickest propositions in the history of Windham Hill.
Writing a contract on a napkin?!

"Michael" is Michael Hedges an American guitarist who revolutionized the acoustic guitar. Using alternate tunings, percussive tapping and a phenomenal technique, he had a huge sound which would leave you wondering how one person could get so much music out of one instrument. In short, he revolutionized the acoustic guitar.

His defining CD's are: Breakfast in the Field from 1981 and Aerial Boundaries from 1984.

Live on the Double Planet was recorded on tour in the US and Canada. A close look at the program notes from that CD, and you'll see that two tracks, All Along the Watchtower (great cover of the Bob Dylan classic) and A Love Bizarre (from Shelia E) were recorded live at the University of Maine at the Hutchins Concert Hall. And, as I write this, in an act of total geekdom, I get to tell you that I was actually in the audience that night. That's right, my applause is on the CD. Seriously, the live feel of this CD is great and it totally captures the mood of the concert that brisk night in Orono, Maine. Hearing the song Silent Anticipations live (also on Breakfast in the Field) will leave you speechless. Be prepared to be wowed.

Michael Hedges - Music You Need to Hear

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