Picked In The Past was a labour of love for me. I’ve been a big rock fan since my teenage years and with this album I got to pick some of my favourite tracks to arrange for acoustic guitar. All tracks were done in one take with no overdubs in the stunning surroundings of Watercolour Studios in Corran near Fort William.
1. Alright Now: One of the most powerful opening riffs in rock music – great fun to play although the solo section presented a few challenges!
2. Black Magic Woman: First heard this Santana classic at a school friend’s house when we stumbled upon his older brother’s record collection – always a good source of new material! This track was recorded during a storm; the thunder can be heard in the background if you listen carefully.
3. Crazy Little Thing Called Love: This particular song was suggested by people I met up with at gigs and workshops around the world who thought I would be able to do a good version of it – hope they’re not disappointed!
4. Desperado: This arrangement was made up hastily on a residential workshop at the request of one of the students who asked for a simple version of an Eagles tune – so here it is.
5. Honky Tonk Woman: I love the guitar work on this Rolling Stones classic, it was so different from anything else I was listening to at the time and sparked off my interest in the band – my arrangement of this involved me developing some new techniques on certain sections to capture the feel.
6. Life’s Been Good: I love the quirky nature of this Joe Walsh song both vocally and guitar-wise making it fun and interesting to arrange.
7. Mission Impossible Theme: Ok it’s not a classic rock tune but it is a classic TV theme and if I wasn’t practising I was probably watching this! This was tricky to work out due to the 5/4 time signature…..and the bassline…….and the melody…ouch!
8. Need Your Love So Bad: One of my all-time favourite songs with beautiful playing from Peter Green – working this arrangement out was an education in itself.
9. Rockin’ All Over The World: Status Quo were the first band I got into in a big way, I had all their albums and saw them live several times at the legendary Glasgow Apollo – my mum took me when I was too little to go on my own – her hearing was never the same after!
10. Smoke On The Water: One of the first riffs any budding rock guitar god learns – to do it solo is of course a different matter! This is always a favourite at my live shows and I’ve updated it especially for this cd.
11. Space Oddity: I probably first heard this on Top of the Pops in my parents front room – a timeless and intriguing artist who continues to inspire. This works really well as a solo guitar piece with great melody and chord changes throughout.
12. Stay With Me: Fantastic groove on this Faces classic – great live band – challenging to attempt to re-create their sound on one instrument and a learning experience for me along the way.
13. Sweet Home Alabama: I spent a large part of my early school days jamming along to this and Freebird amongst many other songs on this cd – happy days and really really long solo’s!
14. White Room: Cream’s combination of playing and writing wrote their place in rock history – this is one of their best and one of my favourites.