Three Chords and the Truth is a spiritual, soulful, philosophical journey into the mythology of music's most iconic instrument, the guitar. Featuring stories of players and fans alike, hear about devotees' experiences with the instrument, what makes it so impossibly "cool," and why one guitarist can be completely revered, while others, playing the exact same instrument, just don't compare.

carlos perezKevin R. Gallagher

You don’t expect a teenager weaned on the Who and Led Zeppelin to draw comparisons to classical guitar legend Andrés Segovia when he’s all grown up, but then, Kevin Gallagher seems to enjoy delivering the unexpected.

Though he’s hauled in a sizable collection of hardware from classical guitar competitions the world over, Gallagher’s latest fret ventures have led him to avant-pop, playing composed music on electric guitar with Electric Kompany, the chamber rock quartet he founded in 2001.

In this episode of Three Chords and the Truth, Kevin talks about the cartoon drawings of his first band, branching out from his rock roots into jazz and classical guitar, the pop/classical divide, and the philosophy he learned from Eddie Van Halen.

 

 

carlos perezCarlos Pérez

In almost every house in Chile, there is a guitar. But few people in the world can play guitar as well as Carlos Perez.

Inspired by a childhood filled with music, Perez began playing classical guitar at age 13, which led him to the University of Chile, where he studied under Ernesto Quezada and graduated with top honors from the Arts Faculty.

Those honors have continued in the classical guitar world, where Perez has been winning music festivals for a decade. He has performed with orchestras across the world, and delivered solo performances and master classes that feature classical pieces, traditional Chilean folk songs, and pieces composed for other fretted instruments, such as the lute.

We sat down with Carlos after his performance for the St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, and he talked about the popularity of the guitar in Chile, growing up in a musical home, and how a shy little boy became one of the most renown, emerging classical performers of his time.


 

warren haynesWarren Haynes

Warren Haynes is a man in demand.  Over the last decade, his impressive chops have been a key ingredient in the Allman Brothers Band, The Dead, and Phil Lesh & Friends, plus Gov’t Mule, the band he co-founded in 1994.  He’s joined the Dave Matthews Band onstage, recorded with artists as diverse as Peter Frampton, David Allan Coe, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Corrosion of Conformity, Everlast, John Lee Hooker, and the Les Claypool Frog Brigade, and wowed audiences worldwide with his solo acoustic performances.

In 2003, Rolling Stone named him the 23rd Greatest Guitarist of All Time, and in February of 2007 the magazine tabbed him as one of the Top 20 New Guitar Gods.  If that wasn’t recognition enough, Gibson partnered with him to design the Warren Haynes Les Paul Standard for their Inspired By series of custom guitars.

We caught up with this living legend before his show at the Pageant in St. Louis, where he talked with us about the role of ego in an ensemble, the rewards of listening like the audience, and the key to avoiding an off night on stage.

 

michael manringMichael Manring

Rattle off the list of styles and genres that Michael Manring weaves into his playing -- rock, punk, jazz, ambient, folk, new age, electronica, industrial, noise-core, and metal -- and the virtuoso bass player just shrugs. To him, it’s all music, and he loves to play it all.

In Manring, that passion for music meets with extra-terrestrial technique and a revolutionary conception of what the instrument might be. The result is a sound that has amazed listeners worldwide, and drawn praise that classifies him among the most talented performers ever to pick up a bass.

Over a career featuring six critically-acclaimed solo albums, two gold records, a Grammy nomination, Bass Player Magazine’s Reader’s Poll Bassist of the Year award, collaborations and recordings with dozens of top musicians, and an education under the tutelage of bass legend Jaco Pastorius, Michael Manring has continually struck off in new directions, discovering bass territory previously inconceivable to the rest of the music world.

We caught up with Michael before his performance at the Lucas Schoolhouse in St. Louis, where he talked about gravitating toward the sound of the bass guitar at age nine, the misunderstanding that got him sidetracked into piano lessons, and exploring the voices and possibilities the bass can bring to life.

 

mark erelliMark Erelli

Considering his master's degree in Evolutionary Biology, Mark Erelli's evolution as an artist should come as no surprise.  Beginning with his discovery in a hotel room in the 3 am slot of a music conference showcase, and continuing through his latest release, the 2006 stunner "Hope and Other Casualties," Erelli's sound has grown to incorporate bluegrass, gospel, country, blues, western swing, pop and rock into the folk for which he’s known.

A multi-talented musician whose credits on his new disc include 11 instruments, Erelli has also evolved into an accomplished songwriter.  His critically-acclaimed new album tackles love and loss with equal honesty and care, alternately examining life after 9/11 and crooning about getting snowed in with the one you love.

We joined Mark on the steps of the Off Broadway music club in St. Louis, where he explained how imitation forged his development as a guitar player, about what he’d be doing if he weren’t playing guitar for a living, and the connectedness between science, art and the humanities.



eric mirandaEric Miranda

Eric Miranda is the most in demand guitar player you’ve never heard of. A lifelong New Yorker, Miranda began his career as a drummer, but the inability of one of his early bandmates to play the lead from Queen’s, “Now I’m Here”, forced him to pick up the guitar. Within a few short years, he was playing guitar for Plug Bunnies, Inc., playing over 300 live shows by the time he was 20.

With guitar chops sharpened from live gigs and the desire to master the instrument in his gut, Miranda started playing everywhere around New York with practically everybody. He accumulated what he calls a weird, spotty history of gigs with an eclectic array of bands and guitar players.

He’s sung and played guitar with Rick Derringer and Rainbow’s Joe Lynn Turner, written songs and performed with Jesse Malin and Francis Dunnery, and been on stage with the Counting Crows and Ryan Adams. Miranda’s last band The Plums received both critical and popular acclaim, selling over 100,000 albums, the majority of them without a record deal. Miranda’s latest venture is Ming Dynasty, featuring him on guitar and Ming Chan on bass.

Eric joined us at Big Club Hall in St. Louis to talk about the proving ground of the New York City music scene and how the city motivates and inspires him.

In the second part of the show Eric shares with us his 5 favorite guitar licks and the reason why every 13 year old should be listening to Lindsey Buckingham and Django Reinhart.


ed gerhardEd Gerhard

When Ed Gerhard performs, no words are necessary -- his guitar does all the talking. Drawing on influences as diverse as Andres Segovia and Mississippi John Hurt, Gerhard’s guitar playing is technically brilliant, yet never showy, focused more on coaxing a beautiful tone from the instrument than dazzling the audience with fingerstyle flash.

Inspired at age 14 by a Segovia performance on television, Gerhard’s musical explorations have wandered through territories ranging from folk and blues to ragtime and Christmas music. His experimentations with open tunings have helped shape and define his signature sound, which has earned him critical fanfare, a Grammy award, and fans the world over.

We sat down with Ed at our act3 studios in St. Louis, to discuss his unique approach to recording, how the guitar saved him from racism and broadened his world view.

 

scott paschallScott Paschall

Scott Paschall first moved to Nashville, Tennessee, with some phone numbers in his pocket and a dream of working in the music industry. He soon became an assistant to legendary producer Garth Fundis, and 15 years later, he is a partner and a producer at The Sound Emporium, the historic Music City studio that’s hosted Trisha Yearwood, Dolly Parton, Ricky Skaggs, R.E.M., Mark Knopfler and the recording of the O Brother Where Are Thou soundtrack.

We met up with Scott at the Sound Emporium in Nashville to talk about it takes to start and sustain a career as a Nashville session guitarist.

 

daniel lanoisDaniel Lanois

In the last 25 years, Daniel Lanois has established himself as a visionary record producer, working with music icons Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, U2, Robbie Robertson and Peter Gabriel, and earning numerous Grammy awards and nominations along the way.

Lanois, also a singer/songwriter, plays the guitar and pedal steel among other instruments. His pedal steel work appeared on the early ambient recordings of Brian Eno, and feature prominently in his current solo output.

We caught up with Daniel at the Wall to Wall Guitar Festival at the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign to talk about his collaboration with Eno and his ongoing relationship with the pedal steel.