Oscar Peterson “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (1995)

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been acquiring a Christmas album each year. The last decade or so, though, my go-to choice has been Oscar Peterson, and his genre-perfecting, “An Oscar Peterson Christmas.” Without question, it’s the best sitting-around-the-fire Christmas album I know. … More Oscar Peterson “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” (1995)

Joel Paterson “Michelle” (2019)

One of the great benefits of the forthcoming Joel Paterson album “Let It Be Guitar!” – to be released by Bloodshot Records on September 20th – is that my wife can casually enjoy some beautiful, new arrangements of completely recognizable Beatles tunes, while I can focus intently on the fabulous intricacies of Paterson’s highly developed, … More Joel Paterson “Michelle” (2019)

Link Wray “Rumble” (1958) [performed 1974]

Lots of great guitarists have lots of different influences, but they all love Link Wray. I can’t prove it as a scientific fact, but just believe me on this. I first heard Wray’s trailblazing sound tearing up the two albums on which he partnered with Rockabilly legend Robert Gordon for his first two releases, Robert … More Link Wray “Rumble” (1958) [performed 1974]

Los Straitjackets “Fury” (1995); “Here Comes Santa Claus” (2002)

It’s hard not to love surf rock instrumentals, harder still when the band playing them exclusively performs wearing Lucha Libre Mexican pro-wrestler masks. It’s an outstanding gimmick, especially for a bunch of guys originating out of Nashville. But Los Straitjackets are a great band first, a great gimmick second. … More Los Straitjackets “Fury” (1995); “Here Comes Santa Claus” (2002)

Ron Levy’s Wild Kingdom “Chicken Fried Snake” (1987)

It’s instrumental time again. Here’s a blues shuffle by an all-star grouping headed by one-time Albert King and B.B. King band member Ron Levy on organ, and including four members of Roomful Of Blues plus three-fourths of The Fabulous Thunderbirds. And most importantly, I don’t think you can go any lower than the guitar note at … More Ron Levy’s Wild Kingdom “Chicken Fried Snake” (1987)

David Bowie “Stay” (1976); Apollo 100 “Joy” (1972)

I started going to NY Rangers games at The Garden with my dad when I was about 7 or 8 years old, and it was love at first, ah, skate. Hockey immediately became, and will unquestionably always be, my favorite sport. The moment when the players first take the ice just prior to the game … More David Bowie “Stay” (1976); Apollo 100 “Joy” (1972)