By the time you read this, the holiday shopping season will have begun in earnest, and you might already be wondering what you’ll get for that musical friend of yours (or, perhaps, writing down all the great gear you hope to add to your own studio). But if you’re at a loss as to what to buy in either case, Electronic Musician is here to help!
Welcome, once again, to our annual “Rock Star Holiday Gift Guide.”
This month, we’ve asked some of today’s most successful musical artists, DJs, producers, and engineers what they would give as gifts to their favorite people—from the “on a budget” price range to “money’s no object ‘cause my track’s charting” level (as well as a few things that would challenge anyone’s purchasing power). You’re in for a real treat!
I’m also very excited about this month’s Keyboard interview with legendary Hammond organist Brian Auger. EM’s contributing editor Jerry Kovarsky refers to him as “one of the rock’s rare elder statesmen who is still playing at the top of his game.” In addition to being one of Keyboard’s early Readers’ Poll winners, Brian was featured on the cover of the April 1977 issue. Four decades later, his playing is still on fire.
In fact, I was lucky enough to see his band’s stellar performance at the Official Keith Emerson Tribute Concert in Los Angeles last year. Brian tore it up that night with an arrangement of “Rondo,” which was, in turn, Keith Emerson’s take on Dave Brubeck’s classic “Blue Rondo a la Turk.” You’ll find a transcription of the first part of the solo, which is a great way to begin exploring Auger’s personal integration of jazz and R&B organ work into blistering rock performances.
Here’s to a prosperous and music-filled new year!