If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Larry Keel, whose latest LP, Classic, is out now. You can listen to a track from the album below — after reading his Desert Island picks, of course!
Strength in Numbers, Telluride Sessions
This album features what has to be considered some of the world’s best acoustic musicians, (Bela Fleck, Mark O’Connor, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglas, Edgar Meyer), playing some of the world’s finest-made stringed instruments, with all original compositions. It is an absolute masterpiece of modern acoustic music, and is a standard I’ve always set myself to strive for as a player, writer and recording artist.
Miles Davis, Bitches’ Brew
Completely one-of-a-kind recording. Performed entirely off the cuff, no rehearsal or predetermined song list for the performers to learn ahead ot time. Miles just gathered together that crew of hyper-talented jazz and fusion freaks, put ‘em in the studio, and said ‘play’ — led by just their own instincts, by Miles’ subtle signals when he wanted to take the jam into some other direction, with no distinct stops or starts… wildly innovative, sometimes dark and scary. A total sonic adventure.
the White Brothers, Live in Sweden 1973
Showcases the phenomenal acoustic guitar tone of Clarence White, one of my all-time guitar heroes. He and his brother Roland, and their band, truly represent bluegrass on the edge, pioneering whole new territories with their singing and playing. The absolute best of second generation bluegrass.
Colonel Bruce Hampton and the Aquarian Rescue Unit, Mirrors of Embarrassment
Led by the genius mind and strange screaming electro-mandolin playing and singing of Bruce Hampton, the players in this outstanding band lay down one of the most balls to the wall rock and roll albums ever, with a killer selection of tunes not typical of a straightforward garage rock band. ARU was the boot camp from which icons like Jimmy Herring, Jeff Sipe (Apt. Q258), Oteil Burbidge and Matt Mundy sprung into stellar musical careers — brilliant musicianship, completely interesting, fun, mind-blowing.
Earth Tribe Rhythms
I found it in a Native American art and gift store 25 years ago, on cassette tape, and I’ve listened to it maybe more than anything else I own. The melodies played on natural, primitive instruments always open the mind and heart; the music always takes me to another dimension.