Lee Ritenour's Chops + Social Media = 6 String Theory

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It takes many guitars to make a Lee Ritenour album!

“One day, I just had this vision. Maybe it was inspired by YouTube, the way you can spend an hour on there and see clips of every amazing guitar player under the sun. Or maybe it was inspired by the fact that I love so many different styles of guitar, and have since I was a kid, and have played most of them throughout my career. But it just occurred to me how great it would be to be able to hear a whole bunch of today’s greatest guitarists doing their thing on one album. And with my background, I realized I might be a good guy to produce it.

Is this a “Lee Ritenour record”?  No. Is this a Lee Ritenour Record? Yes.” ”

6 String Theory could easily be a landmark for the breadth and reputation of the gargantuan players who appear on the album. It is also a deeply entertaining album to listen to as Ritenour and the cast work their way through hard rock, funky blues, bebop and classical music with unmatched agility on their guitars.  Naturally, Lee Ritenour hit his rolodex (B.B. King got the first call) but also expanded the scope to find the best young guitar player and help give a boost.

And so 6 String Theory is also the product of social media via a YouTube contest where Ritenour collaborated with longtime partners Berklee College of Music; D’Addario Strings; Concord Records; Yamaha and Monster in a worldwide talent search. The overall winner, 16 year old Shon Boublil of Montreal, received a scholarship to Berklee, and other 6 String Theory participants such as acoustic guitarist Andy McKee (already YouTube sensation), Australia’s Got Talent winner Joe Robinson and Japan’s Tomoyasu Hotei appear on the album alongside Ritenour.

6 String Theory includes a rare chance to hear unaccompanied guitar from George Benson; a faceoff with speedster Pat Martino in tribute to Les Paul; rocking appearances by Steve Lukather, Slash and Neil Schon; John Scofield, Vince Gill, Keb’Mo, Robert Cray, B.B. King and Joe Bonamassa. Vocalists include: B.B. King, Robert Cray, Vince Gill, Keb’ Mo’, Taj Majal, Joe Bonamassa and Jonny Lang.

Earbender.com Exclusive Preview Tracks and 6 String Theory Sizzle Reel after the jump!

Lee Ritenour f. Vince Gill, B.B. King, Jonny Lang and Keb Mo – “Why I Sing the Blues”

Lee Ritenour with Mike Stern and Tomoyasu Hotei – “Freeway Jam”

Lee Ritenour with George Benson – “My One and Only Love”

Coincidentally, considering my own social media experiments, 6 String Theory includes Steve Lukather, who taught me something about Twitter one day when he snapped back about a negative comment I’d made about his solo on Toto’s “Roseanna.”  No, Steve, I couldn’t have done better myself!

Lee Ritenour dedicated the album to his mom who recently passed away, Pearl Ritenour. A few of our friends show up in the credits too: photographer Kevin Estrada (see him in the “Smells Like Teen Spirit Video”) and Michael Fagien from Jazziz magazine, which I was a champion for when it started in the 80s. Sidemen include bassist Nathan East, organist Larry Goldings, drummers Harvey Mason, Vinnie Colaiuta and our old pal Will Kennedy of the Yellowjackets.

6 String Theory “Sizzle Reel”:

The legendary Lee Ritenour has won every award on the scene, including a Grammy, lifetime achievement/annual honors from every magazine with “guitar” in its title, and has built a recording career as one of the giants in contemporary jazz. He is veteran of over 3000 recording sessions for various artists including Mamas and Papas, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Simon & Garfunkel and Frank Sinatra as well as his own band Fourplay. Lee even bagged “Alumnus of the Year” from University of Southern California.

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