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Adam Stern definitely
shattered all preconceptions of what
a lead guitarist can be
— Westword
I
s it ambient electronica? Nashville twang? Philadelphia
hardbop? Jazzfunk? Rockabilly? R&B? Those questions
revolve around the new instrumental album from
Colorado’s Adam Stern and the answer is “yes.” The
ten song album is entitled High Country Gentleman
and is the second solo release (the first being 2009’s Twang
Shui) from a musician the Colorado Music Buzz called “one
of Colorado’s most interesting and versatile guitar players.”
and High Country Gentlemen, the live performance
vehicle for his original music, he has been a sideman for
hire on solo projects by members of bands such as
Leftover Salmon, Oakhurst, and Hot Rod Circuit. Now
he also plays pedal steel along with guitar making him a
true “double threat” as he continues to be a freelance
musician with assorted Colorado country artists as well
as Widespread Panic alumni Sam Holt.
Despite its array or styles, High Country Gentleman
is not a “guitar” album crammed with hot licks top to
bottom. “My goal has always been to make instrumental
music that regular people can relate to,” Stern says.
“Just because there’s no singing doesn’t mean these can’t
be real songs based on life experiences.” Towards that end,
Numbers 7:89 is a celestial blend of Daniel Lanois and
David Lynch anchored by Stern’s tremolo’d-out hollow
body guitar. Expolitics recalls vintage Return To Forever
with it’s daunting odd-time sections jutting off into playful
renaissance melodies. Other highlights are the haunting
slow blues Buchanan/Bloomfield and the G-funk smooth-jazz
jam Geomancy. Just when you start to get lulled into thinking
this will be a “mood” CD you get slammed by a Mack truck
of hyper-speed chicken pickin’ in Locked Up and the Brian
Setzer-meets-Zakk Wyld mayhem of Progabilly.
Adam Stern has opened for Dickey Betts, Jimmy Herring,
New Mastersounds, Karl Denson, David Allan Coe,
Johnny Hickman (Cracker), New Riders Of The Purple Sage
and Foghat. He’s played onstage with Mike Gordon of
Phish, Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon,
Ronnie McCoury from Del McCoury Band, Bernie Worrell
and Eric McFadden from P-Funk and Melvin Seals from
Jerry Garcia Band. He has been “bubbling under the radar”
for some time now, but
hopefully that will soon
change with the release
of High Country
Gentleman. As
one Denver journalist
recently stated, “Ladies
and gentleman, I think
we may have the next
Steely Dan/Medeski
Martin Wood here in
our backyard.”
Truly a “late bloomer” in music who didn’t play his
first gig until one month after his 30th birthday, Stern
is currently one of the busiest musicians in Colorado,
averaging about 160 gigs a year. Aside from Adam Stern
∂
For booking/publicity inquiries, contact Adam at 720-635-2862 or [email protected] www adamsternmusic.com
Vintage Guitar
— September 2009

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