Tuesday, October 25 , 2016, 9:47 am | Fair 59º


Paul Mann: Carl Verheyen Plays Intimate Concert at SOhO

[Click here for more photos from the concert.]

Just who is Carl Verheyen? Judging by the light turnout for his concert at the SOhO Restaurant & Music Club in Santa Barbara on Wednesday, most people don't really know the answer to that question.

The long answer is a laundry list of musical accomplishments during his lifetime, including an extended stint as the guitarist in the well-known rock band Supertramp. For the details of his career, his huge catalog of recorded music and his extensive work as a master guitar teacher, one only has to Google or Wiki search his name.

The short answer, however, is much more telling about his enormous talent. Verheyen has been described as one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by more than one prestigious music publication, including Classic Rock Magazine.

His extraordinary electric guitar skills were on exhibit at SOhO during his 100-minute set, fronting a power rock trio that included a veteran bassist and drummer (“Just of a tour backing Albert Lee”).

For those familiar with the Prog rock movement in the late 1970s that brought the rock genre into jazz territory, they may have an idea of the kind of music Verheyen plays. Well-known musicians like Jeff Beck or Stanley Clarke may be a good comparison to the type of sophisticated rock that Verheyen plays so well.

But it may be his reworked covers like The Beatles' classic song “Taxman” that show his incredibly innovative approach to guitar playing. The veteran guitarist has no shortage of his own work to draw upon, however, and he played a cross section of his own material culled from an enormous catalog of no fewer than 12 albums.

Although there were only several dozen people in attendance at the concert, Verheyen seemed to be enjoying himself immensely, presenting the show in classic minstrel style. He would give long, storied introductions to many of his songs and explain the varied inspirations behind them.

Verheyen may not be a household name, but for those music fans in the know, he truly is one of the top performing rock guitarists of all time.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

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