Saturday, July 28, 2007

More Than Strings And Wood And Flesh


August 5th would have been Lenny Breau's 66th birthday.

Words cannot describe the effect that his playing has had on myself, and countless other musicians seeking to master their instrument rather than chase fame's fleeting embrace.

I first heard The Velvet Touch Of Lenny Breau when I was 15, and struggling with my muse...His effortless command of myriad styles molded into a seamless and unique whole, wedded with a painful self-effacement that led him to walk many noirish paths struck me like the proverbial bolt from the blue.

I was fortunate indeed to be present at one of his last seminars, antecedently to his untimely murder...And I have learned much from his example.

Here he is, in a younger guise, before the darkness.

And later in life...Sadder, wiser, but still looking to the future:

For those interested in more information, I would recommend Ron Forbes-Roberts' One Long Tune without reservation as a penultimate biographical source, and (if you can find it) the video The Genius Of Lenny Breau, created and produced by Lenny's daughter, Emily Hughes.

Here's to you, Lenny. The music never dies.

1 comment:

Deborah Newell said...

I cannot express how much I enjoyed listening to these two YouTube clips, which I'd never have heard anywhere else. Wow. Thanks ever so much for the tribute and the lovely mini-escapes. I'm back now, but calmer, not to mention much more resolved to notice and appreciate beauty, than I was an hour ago.

*BIG sigh*