time honored traditions of Flamenco guitar music received a huge injection
of fresh interest in the 90s and pretty soon genres such as
Nuevo Flamenco and Rhumba Flamenco started making their way in the
American musical dialect in a big way. Just this past decade, established
guitar names like Armik and the group Incendio made enormous inroads
in the world of modern flamenco guitar sounds. One rising guitarist
/ composer set to make his own mark on the guitar world in the coming
decade is Texas-based Russ Hewitt. Having earlier cut his teeth in
the rock world, opening for big names such as Zakk Wylde and Sammy
Hagar, Hewitt looks youthful and eager but beneath the rock guitar
veneer is a guitarist with in depth training on classical guitar who
can clearly hold his own with the best. On his 2009 CD Bajo El
Sol, Hewitt is backed up by top players including Walfredo
Reyes Jr. on drums, that in itself says a lot about the young
guitarists wide ranging musical skills. Reyes played on Steve
Winwoods About Time comeback in 2003 and that same syncopated
world beat groove permeates Hewitts album in a positive way.
Jazzers and rockers looking for a big beat, Nuevo flamenco guitar
experience must check out Hewitt's CD. Ostensibly, Bajo El Sol
is very much a modern, instrumental Nuevo Flamenco album yet peer
a little under the surface and youll find a guitar-centric album
of enormous depth and musical appeal. Producer / engineer Bob Parrwho
also handles the electric bass / keyboards heredid a fine job
helping Hewitts music and sound achieve such a high level of
studio sheen. Also appearing with Hewitt is Alfredo Caceres (on
rhythm and harmony guitars) and Rafael Padilla (on added percussion).
Many reviewers have touted Hewittand rightly soas one
of the bright, up and coming Nuevo Flamenco artists to watch in the
coming decade. Even with so many accolades arriving in time for Hewitt
early in his career, theres still an undeniable range of excellent
guitar work on the ten track Bajo El Sol for flamenco, classical
guitar and World Beat music fans to appreciate and enjoy. www.RussHewittMusic.com
WEB EXPRESS 3000 presents
playing guitar mainly because my older brother played and I just followed
suit at about 11 years old. It wasn't until a couple of years later
when he quit and sold me all his gear that I started to take it seriously.
After high school I wanted to continue my education so I ended up
going the the University of North Texas and getting a degree in classical
CD is called Bajo el Sol which means under the sun in Spanish.
I originally recorded it all in one day with the band playing live.
I flew in the producer who did my last rock band CD, Bob Parr, to
engineer and mix the project. During the mix process there ended up
being a ton of sonic problemsold drum heads made the bass sound
out of tune, my miked Godin guitar had no low end and a ton of mid
range, every instrument seemed to have its own problem. After the
CD was done Bob and I sat down and thought out loud that it was good
but we could do a lot better, so we trashed everything and started
the recording process over.
got a James Tyler Burning Water electric guitar and I love it. It's
my main guitar when I do studio work. To me it's all about the neck
of a guitar and the Tyler feels incredible, you have to play one if
you come across one. I use a Diezel head, Herbert model, with a VHT
cabinet and a old Metaltronix cabinet that's built like a tank. On
my latest CD I used a Taylor NS72ce nylon string guitar for all leads
and melodies. It has a very 'spongy ' feel to the guitar which allows
me to be a little rough with it. Live I don't like the bulkiness of
acoustics so I use a Godin grand concert duet. It has a perfect balance
between the bass and treble strings, which was the number one problem
I kept having once I plugged in, with D'Addario hard tension strings
set very low.
I tried several acoustic amps but I couldn't get the volume or tone
control I was looking for so went all pedals. I start with a Radial
PZ pre 2 channel acoustic preamp made by Tonebone going into a Electro
Harmonix Black Finger, again for the 'spongy' sound, and finally a
TC Electonics Nova delay.
currently working on a Christmas CD to be released next year. I know
that doesn't sound terribly exciting but my producer, Bob Parr and
I are definitely going to push the boundaries with the arrangements
and accompaniments to the melodies that everybody knows.
I start recording the next original CD February 3rd. I'm bringing
back everybody from the last CD: Walfredo Reyes Jr. - drums, Rafael
Padilla - percussion, Bob Parr - bass, Alfredo Caceres - guitar, because
everybody seemed to be on the same page musically with what I wanted
to do with my songs. It's surprisingly hard to get players to do what's
best for the song and not over play. I'm also going to incorporate
some of the players I've been using live locally. I'm also looking
to add other instrumentation like violin, accordion or whatever I
can think of. I have steady gigs and festival work here in Dallas
but I would like to start to do more bigger shows and festivals around
the country and eventually be able to tour full time.