Dr. AIX's POSTS PROFILES — 21 December 2013

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Albert Lee is celebrating his 70th birthday today. That’s certainly a great reason to celebrate and wish him well on a major milestone in life. It’s not often that a musician develops and defines a unique style of playing the guitar but Albert certainly has. A product of the “British Invasion” of the 1960’s, Albert went a decidedly different direction. His passion was American country picking rather than power chords and ripping pentatonic solos. One listen and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Albert is the “Country Boy” in the song by the same name.

And Albert is one of the nicest and most humble celebrities that I’ve ever had the pleasure to know. I’m sure that he would be a household name…a major celebrity…if his personality wasn’t so laid back and accommodating. It’s not as if he hasn’t been on stage with some of the biggest names in the music business. He was a member of Eric Clapton’s band for five years, was the third Everly Brother for over a decade, the replacement for legendary guitarist James Burton in Emmylou Harris’ Hot Band, a member of Joe Cocker’s Band and one of the many guitarists on stage at the “Concert for George”.

I first met him when kindly agreed to be a guest musician on the AIX Records production of “Acoustic Blues” by my close friend Dorian Michael. Dorian and I attended CSU Northridge in the late 70s and 80s studying music composition with Aurelio de la Vega and Daniel Kessner. Many years later I offered to do a project with him but suggested that we needed some “star power” to help sell the recording. He had studied and played with Albert, so I called him up. Albert was very gracious and agreed to play on a few tunes. [NOTE: This project was also the reason that I got to know Laurence Juber, the ex-Wings guitarist and a musician that has contributed to many AIX Recordings].

Albert also contributed to “Tried and True” with Hanna/McEuen, which led to the award-winning “Tearing It Up” Blu-ray project that we did about 5 years ago. This was the recording that was recognized as “Recording of the Month” by Stereophile Magazine in November of 2012…the first multichannel project to ever receive that recognition! Albert plays some fantastic solos, sings from the heart and even plays a tune or two on piano, which was his first instrument.

To celebrate Albert’s 70th, he’s playing a birthday concert in London (sold out) and another one on January 9th in Los Angeles. I can’t say who’s going to show up at these shows to support one of the truly great players of the last 50 years, but you can probably guess. I really wish I could be there.

In fact, Karen Lee secured a couple of premium tickets for the show at the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on the 9th…but I’m going to be stuck in Las Vegas on that evening tending to the HRA Showcase at the CES. Argh. I didn’t know it when I purchased the tickets. If anyone would like to buy the two tickets that I have, please contact me. It will be a great show.

PS There’s actually another birthday that warrants mentioning today. My oldest son Christopher turns 27 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTOPHER! He’s a talented musician/artist living and working in the LA area. You might want to search Google for his band “The Great Wall”…there’s a number of videos and tunes that you can check out Watch Magnetar. Of course, my opinion is a little skewed but I think he’s extremely gifted. I’m not so sure I can get behind the math-metal style that he prefers…but I think he’s doing something unique and worthwhile. I’d love to hear from anyone that gets a look or listen.

Got to run and get my right rear window replaced. My car got burglarized early this morning as I was doing my 10-mile run this morning. Cancel credit cards, police report, insurance…ugh. Happy Holidays.

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About Author

Dr. AIX

Mark Waldrep, aka Dr. AIX, has been producing and engineering music for over 40 years. He learned electronics as a teenager from his HAM radio father while learning to play the guitar. Mark received the first doctorate in music composition from UCLA in 1986 for a "binaural" electronic music composition. Other advanced degrees include an MS in computer science, an MFA/MA in music, BM in music and a BA in art. As an engineer and producer, Mark has worked on projects for the Rolling Stones, 311, Tool, KISS, Blink 182, Blues Traveler, Britney Spears, the San Francisco Symphony, The Dover Quartet, Willie Nelson, Paul Williams, The Allman Brothers, Bad Company and many more. Dr. Waldrep has been an innovator when it comes to multimedia and music. He created the first enhanced CDs in the 90s, the first DVD-Videos released in the U.S., the first web-connected DVD, the first DVD-Audio title, the first music Blu-ray disc and the first 3D Music Album. Additionally, he launched the first High Definition Music Download site in 2007 called iTrax.com. A frequency speaker at audio events, author of numerous articles, Dr. Waldrep is currently writing a book on the production and reproduction of high-end music called, "High-End Audio: A Practical Guide to Production and Playback". The book should be completed in the fall of 2013.

(5) Readers Comments

  1. Frank Zappa would have been 73 on 21st of December. We over at the Zappa community just thought of the 20th anniversary of his passing on December 4th.

    Happy Birthday Albert Lee.

  2. “Got to run and get my right rear window replaced. My car got burglarized early this morning as I was doing my 10-mile run this morning. Cancel credit cards, police report, insurance…ugh.”

    Welcome to Mexifornia! High crime is one of many reasons I got the f*ck out of there 10 years ago and moved to the Pacific Northwest: so peaceful, so beautiful, no congestion, everyone driving 20 miles per hour slower than down in TJ Norte, and everyone much friendlier, in spite of the gray skies. Whenever I head south to visit my family, I’m reminded again why I love the PNW so much and why I’m never moving back to Cali. I’m going back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali? I’m going back to Cali? I don’t think so.

    • I have no idea who broke into my car and ran off with my wallet and cell phone. I went through the hassle of canceling credit cards, stopping the phone and getting the window replaced. I honestly don’t think this has anything to do with SoCal vs. any other place where people are hurting. They burglar got a couple of hundred dollars worth of gas and a little cash…I’ll survive. I actually love living near the beach and wouldn’t trade this place for any other place I’ve lived because of the weather, people, culture and beauty. Where else could I run 10 miles down the beach in the bright sunshine days before Christmas with temps in the mid 60s?

  3. @steviev,

    I must say that is tasteless. Maybe some WHITE guys broke into the car? I do not believe this is the place to put blame on any kind of ethnicity. That you moved to Washington or Oregon because of too many South Americans in California, which btw was until not too long ago Mexico is simply disgraceful. Until the mid 1800 when the Europeans took over California, it was part of Mexico and before that South American tribes for many, many years.

    On another note, Mark I bought 8 of your DVD-Audios on Amazon, sorry pricing was better, and I start to enjoy some of them very much. I don’t agree with all the choices of musician placement, but that may come later. At least one of the discs has only audience as MLP and that is disappointing.

    Cheers

    • There’s only room on a DVD-Audio disc for a single MLP surround mix. When we first started releasing records, I opted to have the “Audience” perspective on the DVD-Audio [MLP] side because I thought that’s what the reviewers and public wanted. I soon learned that most people we like me and preferred the aggressive “stage” mixes…that’s why all of the subsequent releases have the MLP as the “stage” 5.1 mix. Sorry.

      The other mixes are always available on the iTrax.com site.

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