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MP3 Rob Eberhard Young - Consistent Variation

Solo Acoustic Guitar; driving, fiery, eclectic and proud

9 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: Ambient, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

REY 101

So who is this guy, anyway?

Rob Eberhard Young is a 36-year-old native of Maine (and definitely a Mainiac) who humbly qualifies himself as a composer with a small "c", but who unhumbly plays acoustic guitar with a very large "A". In addition, Rob composes music for films and television, with credits ranging from Kate Hudson movies to The Sci-Fi Channel to the 2000 Summer Olympics.

What''s Rob''s music like?

Let''s put it this way...Rob can sit down with his acoustic guitar and play you a ballad that''ll bring a tear to your eye and then save you the trouble of blowing your nose by blowing your whole head clean off with a bit of tectonic grooviness, thus leaving your neck a smoldering stump.

Rob tends to play starkly beautiful and austere ballads on the one hand and primal, tectonic, grooves on the other. He spends little time in between. He can also play really fast, but has so far resisted the urge to do so on record in favor of musicality...unless you count his early forays into heavy metal, which, under no circumstances, will even be mentioned here. Oops!

What''s Rob all about?

His current stated raison d''ĂȘtre is twofold-first, to spearhead the integration of huge, eclectic, and hybridized acoustic guitar into a band context and accordingly groove-out, and second, to continue to do film scoring projects to stretch his compositional chops and support his acoustic habit.

How long has Rob been playing and how did he get his start?

Rob''s father introduced him to the acoustic guitar at age 8, but poor young Rob felt that playing the instrument was "like wrestling a freight train". He didn''t become seriously interested in guitar until age 14, at which time, being a total rocker, he picked up the electric guitar. He quickly became a Grade-A shredder and played in various metal bands in New England and Hawaii with moderate commercial success...but you really don''t want to know any more about that due to the unsavory leather pants and hair spray issues.

Moving right along, metal ultimately burned Rob out and left him unfulfilled. Around this time, he fortuitously ran across acoustic guitarist Ned Landin who so blew Rob''s mind with his wide palette of sounds that Rob went home, put his electric in the closet, and took up the acoustic guitar. He quickly jumped into the deep end of the alternate-tuning/unorthodox techniques pool, and began, to his delight and others, misbehaving in earnest.

Interestingly (or amusingly, depending on your perspective), when Rob first dove into the acoustic guitar, he thought he was the first guy to conceive of expanding its range and playing it as a solo instrument. What a sheltered life he led! Then someone introduced him to the late, great, Michael Hedges, Leo Kottke, and several other geniuses and Rob experienced, shall we say, another epiphany.

Nevertheless, our hero had (and has) quite a lot to say musically and the chops to do it with and has unquestionably developed his own voice on the instrument.

How many recordings does Rob have and what are they like?


First, Rob''s homegrown solo recording-1994''s Consistent Variation which, with the exception of one track, is entirely acoustic guitar. Ballads, grooves, and power-funk all appear on this recording. It is the sound of a guy wailing, emoting, grooving, and just plain having a lot of fun exploring his instrument.

Originally released on cassette, Consistent Variation was re-released on CD in 2004 and is available through this web site.

In 1995, Rob sent a copy of Consistent Variation to the New Age Godfather himself, Will Ackerman. As Will later recalled, "I was just blown away." Will was so impressed, in fact, that he signed Rob to his new label and co-produced his second album, 1996''s Sticks & Stones-a title referencing Rob''s affinity for all things primal. While the album included several acoustic guitar solos, Rob was also joined on other tracks by uber-bass-weirdo (and I mean that in the nicest possible way!), Michael Manring, Will Ackerman on parlor guitar, and the late, great Michael Hedges on harp-guitar. Sticks & Stones is a dynamic, diverse, and powerful album and anything but your typical flacid, precious, humorless, fingerstyle modal-blathering which seems to be today''s very very Caucasian norm.

Sticks & Stones is available at a retail giant near you. In addition, go to the Sticks & Stones promo page at his site for the downloadable radio edits of "Trance Dance" and "Pictures of Lulu" (with Michael Manring) as well as interviews with Rob.

Upon completing Sticks & Stones, Rob turned his attention to his real goal-a big, bad, band sound with the acoustic guitar as it''s centerpiece. Or as Rob said, "Sort of a rock backdrop with huge grooves, but very ambient and beautiful at the same time. We''ve heard plenty of great solo acoustic guitar without a band, and we''ve heard plenty of great electric guitar with a band, but what we haven''t heard is a really good acoustic guitar instrumental album in a full band setting, which melds rock, jazz, and new age." So Rob grabbed his "big brother", Kip Winger, to produce, Michael Manring to join him on bass again, and Rod Morgenstein on drums to record his newest album, SPEAK!...

Why hasn''t SPEAK! been released and why haven''t we heard from Rob in awhile?

While this may sound like two questions, it''s really the same question. The answer is that while Imaginary Road/Polygram has paid to have SPEAK! recorded, mixed, and mastered (in other words, it''s as ready to go as any recording could be), the album has become a casualty of the recent industry shakeup and is in limbo. Frustrating? You bet. Particularly since it''s a great album!

Rob is currently negotiating with the powers that be to release SPEAK! in 2005. As always, please join Rob''s e-mail list if you would like to be updated on its availability.

What is Rob working on at the moment?

Having just finished installing the studio of his dreams in his Florida home, Rob is immersing himself in hardware and software manuals. He is also working on both film projects and (you guessed it) his next acoustic guitar album.

What other scintillating facts should I know about Rob which will help me impress members of the opposite sex and/or get me a raise?

Try these:

-Rob has an extra frontal lobe for storing recording equipment specifications.

-Rather than Gideon''s Bible, Rob sleeps with a copy of the E-Magic Logic Audio Platinum User''s Manual next to his bed. No joke!

-He is frightened by Egberto Gismonti''s music. (Aren''t we all?!)

-He claims to have seen something looking suspiciously like a sasquatch with a Norelco razor, shaving itself on Kip Winger''s porch.

-Instead of marking packages "Fragile", he writes, "Hey, don''t break this, OK?"

-He describes gritty electric guitar tones as "the corn".

-He once described a bad guitar tone as sounding like "a Lionel train running over a mango." This has since been shortened to simply "mango on the tracks."

-He feels that Billy Gibbons just might be the coolest human who ever lived. Billy Tone...it''s what''s for dinner!!!

-If those tidbits don''t work and you just get strange looks from your date or boss, either play them one of Rob''s CDs or fake a seizure and excuse yourself.

This has been a public service announcement.


- Matt Guthrie

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