Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Myles Kennedy holds his own on guitar

Much has already been made of the voice Myles Kennedy would bring to the table in a collaboration with Jimmy Page. But what about the fact that he's also an accomplished guitarist in his own right? Here's a look at Myles Kennedy on guitar.

Here is Myles Kennedy jamming on "Travelling Riverside Blues," a Robert Johnson song that ought to be familiar to Led Zeppelin fans. This lemon-squeezing performance is from Alter Bridge's Feb. 10, 2008, show in Copenhagen, as namechecked in the song. Drummer Scott Phillips adds some sparse accompaniment.

That's a resonator guitar he's playing in this clip. And yes, you get a sample of Kennedy's ability to hold a very long note at the end of this. What a singer!

In 2005, Alter Bridge allowed its two guitarists to take center stage for some solo features. In this Nov. 15 show at the Astoria in London, Myles Kennedy starts off this spectacle with some "Voodoo Chile," paying tribute to Jimi Hendrix. His more technical counterpart, Mark Tremonti, follows up with a taste of the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo "Eruption."

The same show also includes this cover of Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll" with Myles on rhythm guitar.

When Tremonti takes lead guitar, I can't help but concentrate on the steady rhythm guitar that continues throughout and think of how this would complement Page. In fact, I'm also reminded of two recent tours on which Page was assisted by at least one other guitarist when performing Led Zeppelin songs like this. He allowed this to happen with Porl Thompson of The Cure when touring with Robert Plant from 1994 to 1995 and again with Black Crowes guitarists Rich Robinson and Audley Freed in 1999 and 2000. In interviews, Page was very vocal on the latter occasion about how pleased he was to have the other guitarists with him to add layers to the music that are impossible for one guitarist except in the studio, where overdubs are fair game.

See how Myles responds to the Bristol Academy crowd in his guitar solo at the beginning of the following clip from 2006. After Tremonti's "Eruption" is a full-band rendition of a Bolero-inspired instrumental called "Ahavo Rabo Taco Salad."

There's no matching video for this pair of guitar solos, recorded Oct. 15, 2005, in Las Vegas. Again, Myles goes first, then Mark.

Myles and Mark in this video clip from the Alter Bridge show in Barcelona from May 21, 2006:

Here's one from the archives. This is from 15 years ago or more. If you're anything like me and that rhythm from the drum machine bothers you, you may want to skip right to the guitar solo beginning at 2:56. Kennedy shows off his finger dexterity in this.

Oh, and it's nice to see Myles knows what he's talking about when it comes to guitar gear. He must have fun talking gear with Jimmy Page. At 1:42, Myles has an "It Might Get Loud" moment.

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