By David Lowry
Having had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Timmons a couple times on my radio show and soon to be a third, meeting him, watching him perform live one of the most amazing displays or guitar virtuosity I have ever seen and having been a fan since his Danger Danger days, I was really looking forward to the release of “Sgt. Pepper.” I wanted to see what Andy was going to bring to the table that could top his previous efforts. After all, when you are one of the most highly touted guitar players in the world, the bar is set pretty high for everything you do. I am pleased to say that Andy never lets me down and has surprised and delighted my ears once again. His interpretation of the classic Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is simply one of the finest guitar instrumental albums if not the finest guitar instrumental album I have ever heard.
Andy brings a new life to an old classic that for many of us is very iconic and very set in a place and time in our lives. No one needs to state the importance of the Beatle’s music in pop music culture, but for Andy to risk taking on such a classic well loved album and being set up to have the “Beatles” purists take shots at him for doing this takes a lot of confidence. If you knew Andy, you know what a laid back, friendly and downright incredibly nice person he is. He always makes you feel like you have been friends forever and in so doing that, there never comes across any sense of arrogance in his demeanor in his personality or his playing that you might find with someone with such a uniquely incredible talent and skill. In saying that though, once Andy picks up a guitar, it’s like hearing it for the guitar first time again. You get those chills and that wow factor like the first time you heard Hendrix, Page or Van Halen. The ways that Andy makes his instrument sing, you completely forget there is no vocalist there. His use of tone and dynamics help to transport the listener to a new place and Andy makes statements with his playing that are so creative and refreshing to your ears, that most other guitar players vocabulary pale in comparison and the kicker is he does it without you even realizing that he is playing one guitar, no vocals, no layers and no tricks. He imparts magic in the instrument that just wraps you up like a warm blanket and delivers eargams after eargasm like you have never heard from another guitar player.
Andy’s effort on “Sgt. Pepper” is nothing less than beyond extraordinary. It is completely musical, melodic and he did it all from memory. That just boggles the mind to us average musicians. He covers 14 songs from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” “When I am Sixty-Four” and of course the bonus track “Strawberry Fields Forever.” This is by far one of my favorite guitar instrumental albums of all time and for sure to be a classic in the genre. If you love music, the “Beatles,” melody, guitar and listening to someone that has full command of his instrument, then this is the CD for you.
You can order “Sgt. Pepper” on Andy Timmons website www.andytimmons.com.
At the time of this writing, The Lowry Agency has no affiliation with Andy Timmons or the Andy Timmons Band.