GUITAR GREATNESS DESCENDED
upon Raleigh, North Carolina, on the weekend
of November 20 and 21, when John
McLaughlin, Jimmy Herring, Wayne Krantz,
and Alex Machacek performed at the historic
Lincoln Theater as part of the New
Universe Music Festival presented by
Saturday night’s lineup included the
Alex Machacek Trio with bassist Neal Fountain
and drummer Jeff Sipe, drummer Ranjit
Barot’s band joined by Krantz on one tune,
Human Element (great band but no guitars),
and the Jimmy Herring Band,
featuring Fountain, Sipe, and keyboardist
Matt Slocum. On Sunday it was Wayne
Krantz’s trio with bassist Anthony Jackson
and drummer Cliff Almond, the Lenny
White Group featuring Herring and Tom
Guarna in a dual-guitar lineup, and John
McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, with
keyboardist/drummer Gary Husband,
drummer Mark Mondesir, and bassist Étienne
MBappe. Tabla virtuoso and longtime
McLaughlin collaborator Zakir Hussain
joined the band for the finale.
The climax of the festival was a tribute
to McLaughlin organized by Husband.
“Gary did me proud by getting all the musicians
together to play some of my old
tunes,” says McLaughlin. “I was really
moved, and the audience was outstanding.
It was also a thrill just to see all the great
musicians in one spot—especially the guitarists—
and I think everyone had a
wonderful time. Souvik Dutta and the folks
at Abstract Logix did a fantastic job of
organizing the festival.”
McLaughlin played through a pedalboard
patched directly into the P.A.,
eschewing the computer-based system he’d
been using in recent years. “I haven’t used
a laptop since the last Shakti tour,” he
explains. “And instead of the Mesa/Boogie
V-Twin preamp, I’ve been using a Seymour
Duncan SFX-03 Twin Tube Classic. I still
like the Mesa, but I find the Twin Tube is
better in the upper register.” McLaughlin’s
other pedals include an MXR Stereo Chorus
and Carbon Copy delay, a Korg
Pitchblack tuner, and a Line 6 Relay G30
Digital Wireless Guitar System, all powered
by a Dunlop DC-Brick and housed in
a Boss BCP-60 Pedal Board.
The performances were videotaped for
a DVD to be released later this year.
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