Behind The Curtain
(Seventh Spring Productions)


Nuevo flamenco is currently one of the most popular instrumental music forms of the 21st century and has remained at the forefront for at least the past ten years. With a stunning combination of daredevil guitar techniques and melodies enhanced with hi-tech, glossy electronics and studio polish, the Nuevo Flamenco sound is in good hands on the 2010 CD release of Behind The Curtain, from Rochester, N.Y. based guitarist Rick McKown. McKown has earned a solid reputation over the past thirty years as a professional guitarist, composer and music educator and he serves his purpose well with the dazzling instrumental guitar vision on Behind The Curtain. While the groove may be Nuevo Flamenco based, clearly McKown has enormous talent on the guitar and would excel in any kind of guitar-based musical / recording setting. Showcasing his guitar as the star here, McKown drapes his modern flamenco sound with his own digital orchestra, and overall the CD is clearly a real find for guitar fans. McKown receives able support from both Jeff Sawyer (piano, synths) and Harry Ford (five string and fretless bass) but the real star here is McKown’s vivid guitar imagination and finesse in the recording studio. Guitar fans as well as Nuevo Flamenco fans are well advised to pick up on McKown’s CD latest release.

presents RICK McKOWN

Guitars Center Stage
Guitarists making waves in the music world,
their new recordings and gear!

Musical Background

I started playing the drums when I was 6 or 7, then took piano lessons when I was around 12. I picked up the guitar in my teens and have been playing for more than 30 years now. I was in the 4th class to ever graduate from the Musician’s Institute (GIT). Seems like a very long time ago.

New CD

Behind the Curtain is an album I had wanted to make for a very long time. It’s probably best described as acoustic guitar driven, richly orchestrated contemporary instrumental music. It was recorded in my own studio and start to finish took more than a year to record, as I had other projects going on throughout. With the exception of the bass and piano parts, I either played or programmed everything myself. All drums, percussion, orchestration, etc.

The other two musicians who played on this CD, keyboardist, Jeff Sawyer and bassist, Harry Ford and are both very talented and versatile musicians who always manage to come up with whatever is needed to fit any song.

As a composer I write in many different styles. I do my best to tailor the sound to fit any given project. But, Behind the Curtain is really much more of a reflection of me as an artist and guitar player.

Favorite Guitars

I have really always just had what I consider working man’s guitars. My main electric is the same Les Paul I’ve had since 1979. The Strat that I use quite a bit in the studio is equipped with a MIDI pick-up. I also have an assortment of acoustic guitars.

The guitar that I used on the Behind the Curtain CD is an Ovation Custom Legend, Al DiMeola model. For my style of lead acoustic playing the Ovations have always been a good fit. My recording set-up for my Ovations is generally two separate tracks recorded simultaneously. One mic’ed and one line going directly into the board. I then bring the two tracks together in a sub-mix and add slight amounts of chorus and reverb to fatten things up a bit.

My stings of choice on my acoustic guitars are Elixir Nanoweb Custom Lights (11 - 52). On my electrics I’ve used D’Addario Lights (10 - 46) for years.

Musical Influences

My musical influences are pretty eclectic and include: Al DiMeola, Larry Carlton, George Benson, Jean Luc Ponty, Toto, Gino Vannelli, The Doobie Brothers, and many more. And, I do like Yanni’s kind of large, orchestral approach to things.

Upcoming Plans

I don’t really do much in the way of live performance these days. I spend most of my time, and am really happiest working in my studio. I really enjoy video scoring. I love having a piece of film and composing music to help create the mood of whatever the scene may be.

Web Site

Please visit my website at www.RickMcKown.com
And feel free to contact me at: info@RickMcKown.com


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