There's nothing better than ending a week, or starting a new one, than with a Sunday night of power guitar and seeing old friends. The uber-talented Andy Timmons made it the best night possible as he shredded his Ibanez ATZ100 guitar all night at The Guitar Sanctuary, the beautiful venue in McKinney, Texas.
Nick Knirk and Michael Horne opened the evening with some reworked tunes on acoustic guitar and violin, respectively. The laid-back pair put the crowd at ease beginning with "Isn't She Lovely" and finishing with their original tune "Celtic Knot" from their second album. They added a little seasonal spirit with "White Christmas" and a TV favorite "Love And Marriage," better known for the last 20 years as the theme for Married, With Children.
McKinney Mayor George Fuller, the owner of The Guitar Sanctuary, introduced Timmons and spoke of their long-time friendship. The power trio immediately set the tone by jamming some Jimi Hendrix and Andy even sang a quasi-rarity for him. The band continued with Timmons rapid-fire fretting on "Deliver Us" from Resolution, the eighth of his ten solo albums.
The former lead guitarist for Danger Danger showed his masterful skills as he segued from a light intro into rock, with Rob Avsharian showing how important a terrific drummer is in a trio. "Winter," with offensive bass licks from Mike Daane, showed how a well-written instrumental can transport you to a different feeling.
Timmons paid tribute to The Beatles with "Strawberry Fields Forever" and showed his originality while staying true to the original classic. He even raised the bar as he played Chopin's "Prelude In C Minor" with its positive and confident feeling in its melody.
Timmons went back to his original music as he continued with led a kick-ass jam that seamlessly segued into hard rock, with both telling a story with chord changes and tempo changes. He picked up his telecaster for a countrified song and with his lightning-fast fingering on the fret, it was a square dance on steroids.
As with many of his songs, you almost hear words on the instrumentals, but even without lyrics, the music transports you to a different place and time. The feelings let you decide what the music is saying to you. The deep cut "Duende" was drum centered and the guitar jams built upon each previous one until building to a crescendo.
Unfortunately, the show had to end, but Timmons stayed on stage instead of leaving and coming back for an encore. He really felt the emotion of the next songs and used the pure precision of notes to produce great tones. Parts of it felt like he was playing in your den which made the crowd enjoy it even more.
Timmons raised the mood level of the crowd with uplifting melodies. Andy was very appreciative of the chance to play for an audience and made sure that everyone in the venue knew it. It was like a cosmic group hug as the whole crowd felt the energy. The energy rose even higher as the band finished with a power rock song designed just to kick ass and let you leave all pumped up.
Andy Timmons has played with many top flight musicians, has been a sought-after session guitarist and was even the director-guitarist for many of Olivia Newton-John's US tours. He has learned how to put together a show that flows smoothly engages you for a night of great music. It's always a great show whether playing with his band or as a solo.
Special thanks to Brian Meador of The Guitar Sanctuary for always taking care of us. He has developed relationships with many artists and brings them in for awesome, intimate concert events.