Lou Pecci is receiving accolades for his solo acoustic and
electric guitar albums. Lous 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 Brubecks 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 its a play on the word time. Just as intriguing
is Lous 2013 CD entitled James Bond On Electric Guitar.
Even though theres 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
Morricones 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
an interview with
Can you tell the readers where youre from originally and where
you live now and what you like best about it?
Lou Pecci: Ive always lived in Northern New Jersey. One
of the things I like is that its close to New York City.
mwe3: Youre 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: Ive always had a day job and played music
on the side. Having said that, Ive 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 didnt get serious about it until I made my first CD
mwe3: Your most recent album is called Original Time.
Did you name it Original Time as its the first album
where you dont 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 Brubecks
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 its a play on the word time.
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. Im not sure I agree that surf-rock is
a clear influence on it. I think of it more as a fusion record without
mwe3: The Original Time CD starts off with one of the
best guitar tracks Ive heard in a while called 7 Straight.
Why do you call it 7 Straight and what is the story behind
Lou Pecci: Thank you. Its in 7/4, and a little change
to the blues form. No more than that.
mwe3: Another key track on Original Time is Dont
Give Up, which features another strong melody. Is that another
favorite of yours and is there a story behind Dont Give
Lou Pecci: Thats 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?
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 DAddarios
for the electrics. I havent owned a steel string for many years
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 youre 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 didnt realize
I was doing it so much, mixing the pick with the fingers during solo
playing. I think it just happens when youre 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 theres 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 Ive always loved Knopflers playing and sound, so youre
right about that. Joe Pass was a big influence years ago, as was Herb
Ellis, Al DiMeola, Larry Coryell, Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino
and on. Theres really too many to name, and each player influences
you with both their playing and their writing. Ive always enjoyed
the surf-rock sound and been drawn to it, as its fun, but I
wouldnt say its been a huge influence.
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,
Lou Pecci: I play every day, and I tend to take out a CD of
someone and practice with it, doesnt matter the genre or the
style, just whatever Im in the mood for. I enjoy both writing
and recording equally, and I keep up on scales all the time, but theres
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
mwe3: Tell us about your earlier album called James Bond
On Electric Guitar. Its 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
Lou Pecci: Thank you again, thats a nice compliment.
Ive always been drawn to movie soundtracks, as theres
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 Ive always known
from the early Bond music, and which seemed to be a nice change of
pace. I havent given any thought to do a Bond 2, but
you never know, I guess.
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
Ive 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
couldnt 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 its a lot of Bill Frisell, Bireli
Lagrene, Joe Satriani, and Struntz & Farah. But again, there are
so many great players its 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 cant help but carry over in some way.
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
Lou Pecci: The next CD will be an album of standards, hopefully
in early 2016, so Im finishing that up for now. After that,