LOU PECCI
Original Time
(Lou Pecci Music)

 

Guitarist Lou Pecci is receiving accolades for his solo acoustic and electric guitar albums. Lou’s 2014 CD, Original Time is filled with a dozen atmospheric guitar instrumentals and the album spotlights a mix of his acoustic and electric guitar work. The tracks are eventful and, start to finish, Original Time is a good choice if you enjoy original, driving and rhythmic acoustic / electric solo guitar music. Commenting on the concept behind Original Time, in the following interview Lou tells mwe3.com, "Years ago I started getting interested in odd time signatures, and decided to go back and start with Dave Brubeck’s old albums, like Time Out, Time Further Out and Time Changes… etc. Then awhile back John McLaughlin put out a DVD called The Gateway To Rhythm, which is about Konokol, a system of mastering rhythm which also deals quite a bit with odd time. Eventually I decided to write some tunes in 5/4 and 7/4 and mix them in with 4/4 and 6/8 tunes, which is one difference to the other CDs. I called it Original Time as there are no covers and it’s a play on the word “time.” Just as intriguing is Lou’s 2013 CD entitled James Bond On Electric Guitar. Even though there’s no drumming on Lou's CDs, his classic Bond movie song covers are played quite well as solo guitar instrumentals. Starting off with the famous “James Bond Theme”, written by Monty Norman, the 12 track CD goes on to feature solo instrumental guitar sounds of some of the most famous James Bond melodies written by the late great John Barry, while the CD closes out with a Pecci original called “The Black Path”. Along the same lines are a pair of CDs Lou recorded as tributes to the king of “spaghetti westerns”, Ennio Morricone, as well as other composers in that genre, entitled Spaghetti Western Themes On Nylon String Guitar Vol. 1 & 2. Lou achieves some sonic breakthroughs on these two Spaghetti Western Themes CD titles as well, making Morricone’s cinematic sounds come alive as solo guitar pieces. All four of these Lou Pecci albums are quite unique sounding and are well worth the time for guitar fans to seek out and give a listen to. email: picks123@aol.com




mwe3.com presents an interview with
LOU PECCI



mwe3
: Can you tell the readers where you’re from originally and where you live now and what you like best about it?

Lou Pecci: I’ve always lived in Northern New Jersey. One of the things I like is that it’s close to New York City.

mwe3: You’re not very well known in the guitar world yet your sound is very unique and exciting sounding. Where have you been hiding (lol) and what is your experience as far as recording as a solo artist and other experiences you have had as far as playing in bands and live in concerts?

Lou Pecci: I’ve always had a day job and played music on the side. Having said that, I’ve always approached playing very seriously. I played club dates for a lot of years as well as a lot of solo guitar gigs, and with various types of trios and quartets. As far as recording, outside of a few small sessions here and there, I really didn’t get serious about it until I made my first CD in 2011.

mwe3: Your most recent album is called Original Time. Did you name it Original Time as it’s the first album where you don’t cover other music by other composers? How would you compare Original Time with your earlier CD releases?

Lou Pecci: Years ago I started getting interested in odd time signatures, and decided to go back and start with Dave Brubeck’s old albums, like Time Out, Time Further Out and Time Changes… etc. Then awhile back John McLaughlin put out a DVD called The Gateway To Rhythm, which is about Konokol, a system of mastering rhythm which also deals quite a bit with odd time. Eventually I decided to write some tunes in 5/4 and 7/4 and mix them in with 4/4 and 6/8 tunes, which is one difference to the other CDs. I called it Original Time as there are no covers and it’s a play on the word “time.”

mwe3: The Original Time CD is recorded on a mix of electric and acoustic guitars yet the sound is very driving and, at least to my ears, sounds clearly influenced by surf-rock instrumentals as well as music soundtracks in the spirit of Ennio Morricone and other movie composers. Was your plan Original Time to shine a light on your own music?

Lou Pecci: Sure, why not. Actually, half the album is acoustic and half is electric. I’m not sure I agree that surf-rock is a clear influence on it. I think of it more as a fusion record without a band.

mwe3: The Original Time CD starts off with one of the best guitar tracks I’ve heard in a while called “7 Straight”. Why do you call it “7 Straight” and what is the story behind the track?

Lou Pecci: Thank you. It’s in 7/4, and a little change to the blues form. No more than that.

mwe3: Another key track on Original Time is “Don’t Give Up”, which features another strong melody. Is that another favorite of yours and is there a story behind “Don’t Give Up”?

Lou Pecci: That’s an older tune that, again, to me is more of a fusion piece for guitar. I think I just wanted a positive title, as that can be a little rare in my case sometimes.

mwe3: What guitars did you record Original Time with and what is the blend between nylon string and steel string and what strings do you favor on your various guitars?

Lou Pecci: A Godin Electric Nylon String, and a Fender Strat. I used a 335 on one track, “If Only,” for a little rhythm. I generally use Godin high definition strings for the nylon and D’Addario’s for the electrics. I haven’t owned a steel string for many years now.

mwe3: Your guitar style features a cool mix of finger style playing and even some flamenco techniques yet you have a very unique sound. How would you describe your technique, both picking hand and fretting hand? I presume you’re a righty. Do you play with guitar picks or finger style techniques and do you have a certain style of guitar playing that makes your music sound unique?

Lou Pecci: Yes, I am a righty, and I almost always play with a pick, but I think I use my fingers more than I realize when playing solo. Someone pointed it out to me years ago, and I didn’t realize I was doing it so much, mixing the pick with the fingers during solo playing. I think it just happens when you’re trying to play something and that turns out to be the easiest way to do it.

mwe3: Who are among your big influences both guitar wise and from a compositional perspective? I was thinking somewhere between Segovia and Mark Knopfler but there’s also some surf-rock as well as jazzier guitar influences that are very apparent in your style.

Lou Pecci: If I had to pick a favorite, it would be John McLaughlin, but I’ve always loved Knopfler’s playing and sound, so you’re right about that. Joe Pass was a big influence years ago, as was Herb Ellis, Al DiMeola, Larry Coryell, Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino…on and on. There’s really too many to name, and each player influences you with both their playing and their writing. I’ve always enjoyed the surf-rock sound and been drawn to it, as it’s fun, but I wouldn’t say it’s been a huge influence.

mwe3: How do you stay in shape musically, both compositionally and guitar wise? Do you enjoy writing music or recording music or writing music the most? Do you have a certain practice routine, scales, arpeggios, etc…?

Lou Pecci: I play every day, and I tend to take out a CD of someone and practice with it, doesn’t matter the genre or the style, just whatever I’m in the mood for. I enjoy both writing and recording equally, and I keep up on scales all the time, but there’s no particular routine to it. Sometimes the ideal way to keep up on scales is to write tunes to use them in, which can keep it from becoming routine.

mwe3: Tell us about your earlier album called James Bond On Electric Guitar. It’s a real masterpiece. In what ways did John Barry influence you, compositionally and from a guitar perspective and why did you choose to record the CD solo with electric guitar? What guitars did you use on the Bond CD? I was glad to see you mixed in some lesser known Barry covers as well as the more famous ones like the title from Goldfinger. Also would you consider a Bond 2 compilation?

Lou Pecci: Thank you again, that’s a nice compliment. I’ve always been drawn to movie soundtracks, as there’s usually a lot more going on harmonically than you would hear on the radio. After doing two spaghetti western CDs on acoustic, I was looking around for something different to do on electric with the Stratocaster, and by accident came across John Barry, who I’ve always known from the early Bond music, and which seemed to be a nice change of pace. I haven’t given any thought to do a Bond 2, but you never know, I guess.

mwe3: Likewise, what made you record the two Spaghetti Western Themes CDs? Interesting that the CDs are mainly Morricone covers but there are some other lesser known composers on the CDs that I never heard of before! What were the parameters you used in creating the Spaghetti Western Themes CDs and will it be an ongoing series?

Lou Pecci: There was a period where I was collecting a lot of soundtracks to Spaghetti Westerns where Morricone, whose music I’ve always loved, was the composer for many of them but not the only one by any means. In each soundtrack there was one tune I couldn’t get enough of, and initially I was going to put them all on one CD, but then I thought, why not make one of your own on acoustic? To my surprise, there was some interest on the internet, so much so that I decided to do a second one of rarer pieces. They were both a lot of fun doing, which is really the best reason to do these things. I may actually do a third one, but it would have to be a little different somehow, otherwise there would be no point. It would just be repeating yourself, which is when the fun leaves.

mwe3: What other guitarists do you listen to these days and how do certain guitarists and musical styles influence you while you listen and how does that carry over to your playing, writing and recording?

Lou Pecci: These days it’s a lot of Bill Frisell, Bireli Lagrene, Joe Satriani, and Struntz & Farah. But again, there are so many great players it’s hard to list them all. John Scofield, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, and Paco De Lucia are a constant as well. To me, everyone is an influence just by listening to them, and anything you hear that you like can’t help but carry over in some way.

mwe3: What about future plans for 2015 and into 2016 moving forward? What areas of music would you like to move into next and will there be some live shows in the future or are you too busy with writing and recording?

Lou Pecci: The next CD will be an album of standards, hopefully in early 2016, so I’m finishing that up for now. After that, we’ll see.



 

 
   
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