First Published: 08 Jan 2016
Spotlight: Sam Coulson – Electric Classical (2015)
By Gary “Uncle G” Brown
I first became aware of guitarist Sam Coulson when rock n’ roll’s super group from the 1980’s, Asia, announced Sam was replacing founding member, guitarist Steve Howe, who retired from the band after a very successful reunion of the original four players, that started in 2006, and ended in the beginning of 2013. In these six years, Asia put out three new studio albums, and played many sold out shows. I caught one myself in Dallas Texas, back in 2008.
Upon hearing the news of Mr. Howe’s retirement, curiosity motivated me to research Sam some, for I was unaware of him at that time. Found out he was in his twenties, and made a name for himself on the internet by uploading videos of his guitar playing. To this day he’s as active as ever with social media; Twitter, Facebook, and of course where it all started for him, on the mega popular website; YouTube. After all it’s hasn’t been that long since the 28 year old guitar player joined Asia, helped record and tour the groups fourteenth studio album which came out in March of 2014, called Gravitas. Was a successful project, in which I’m already looking forward to the groups planned follow-up.
Now with Asia on hiatus, Sam recently put out his first solo album, recorded in his own home studio, located I believe somewhere in Canada. He’s calling his debut album, Electric Classical. Ten tracks of Sams favorite classical pieces, by his favorite composers. Beautifully performed, and coming in at around the 25 minute mark. With each repeated play, the time while focused on the music, flies by even more. A very pleasurable experience hearing Sam play each masterpiece, in his own unique personal style. Was also a cool time researching, and learning about each composer picked out. Some I already was acquainted with; Bach and Beethoven. Others not so much; Francisco Tárrega (1852 – 1909), Antonio Lauro (1917-1986), and a person Sam appears to favor, whereas on Electric Classical, he performs three pieces of, Fernando Sor (1778-1825), a Spanish classical guitarist and composer.
Using the one to five star rating system, where one star means to downright fuhgeddaboudit, to five stars which means it’s cool spending your hard earned money on, Uncle G rates Sam Coulson – Electric Classical … 5 stars! It’s not that I’m a HUGE fan of classical music, for it’s not usually my preferred choice when it comes to randomly picking out and playing a CD on the home stereo. Saying that, it’s not a form of music that I never play. Liking instrumental music, I of course have already been into several of these long gone composers and their compositions, played / presented in their original form. I also enjoy classical music when presented in various modern forms like in cartoons, or movies. It’s also one of the many reasons why I dig progressive rock, due to musicians and bands like Emerson, Lake, & Palmer (1970 – 2010) who along with their original music, incorporated the music of our yesterdays forefathers in their setlist. Done their way, which goes along the lines of what Sam has presented here. Very nicely executed as well!
Sam Coulson Official Website (contains links to his several social media pages)
Promo Video Sam made for Electric Classical: