Well over a year ago my daughter Lexie and I got to be on what I would call a true “album for the ages.” It’s a tribute to Les Paul from his friends and musical admirers, and we all do duets with the wonderful Lou Pallo, (who has his own signature Les Paul model now) and The Les Paul Trio. Other luminaries such as Keith Richards, Billy Gibbons, Steve Miller, Johnny A. and Slash appeared on this album too, and it’s really quite an amazing project to be a part of.
Lexie got to sing the classic Les Paul and Mary Ford hit “Vaya Con Dios”, which I also played on, and I got to record my instrumental version of a great LP favorite, “Mr. Sandman.” Great players abounded throughout the project, and it really feels like one of those albums that will go on forever, with truly legendary status! Thank goodness they also filmed everything , because there is a lovely documentary film they made on the “making of” this truly inspired project. On Monday night, Sept.10, (always Les Paul’s night!) we will have a gig and party to help release and “kick off” this wonderful work of art at the famed Iridium Jazz Club in NYC!
There truly is nothing better than being so recognized by your peers, and to play on an album that gives thanks to a man who has given the world just so much! If it had not been for that ’52 Les Paul I got back in 1967, I would’ve maybe played the guitar differently, and it may’ve been a much longer time until I truly understood what a great guitar was! And of course, every time we record, and use separate tracks, or overdub, we are also utilizing one of Les’ major inventions that truly changed the world!
This man’s genius, humor, showmanship and musical ability has literally influenced many generations of players, and will continue forever, and certainly as long as mankind wants to keep playing the guitar, and as long as we’ll need to record great music. I couldn’t imagine a more worthwhile project, nor a greater group of people to do and share it with! If any folks reading this are in the NYC area, you owe it to yourselves to head down to The iridium on Monday, Sept.10, and to witness some real music history being made! Long live Les Paul, and once again and forever, Thank you!
Gibson.com’s Arlen Roth, affectionately known The King of All Guitar Teachers, is music lesson pioneer and the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar.