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Friday, September 11, 2009

Danny Embrey Live @ The Print Shop

When I was studying under John Elliot in high school (for the uninitiated, his former students included most of the heavies on the Kansas City jazz scene over a span of four decades and one Pat Metheny), the two first-call guitarists in town were Steve Cardenas and Rod Fleeman. Then Steve moved to California (and then eventually NYC), and Danny Embrey seemed to kind of show up from California and grabbed up all of Steve's old gigs.

I mentioned hearing that this Danny Embrey character had studied under John and John (who did not give praise easily) said, 'God, Danny's got to be one of the greatest guitarists on earth. Amazing talent, very disciplined. If he wasn't so humble, he'd be a household name.'

Of course, I heard the subtext of John's appraisal of Danny Embrey: yours truly had none of these qualities and wasn't showing any indication that I ever would.

So Danny comes in the print show I work at pretty regularly to make copies. Songs he's written, arrangements for the various bands he's got going, etc. I had a printout waiting on the copier he was using and we got to talking a little, and I realized I had Lilith with me because it was Thursday, and Thursday means band practice.

But you don't just show Lilith to one of the greatest guitarists on earth (John was not exaggerating). I could have sat there and listened to Danny play my guitar all damn day (my boss would probably have a beef with that). When I play her, the sound is projected out away from me, so it's less impressive...that and I'm no Danny Embrey. He is just flat out amazing.

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