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The Songs that changed my musicial life on EvO:R

"Distorted guitar riffage flies from the speakers, along with some quick-picked rock soloing. Harrelson aka..TL2 is quite comfortable mixing a disparate range of styles - it's quite likely the full CD release will feature more of the same."....... Guitar9.com

Submitted by EvO:R Founder, Charlie Harrelson
"Session guitarist w solo project under the name TL2"



As a musician for over 30 years I would like to think that every note that I played came from inspirations that I created myself. My ego would have me believe that my improvisational skills are like knowbody else and every note that comes from my strings are mine and mine alone.

Then the real world hits me. Every note I play, string I bend, hammer-on that I create came from something that I saw or heard at some point in my life. I would love to believe that every song I ever wrote was exclusive to me alone but this is not true. Our music was inspired by someone else. A song on the radio that we heard, a live show we attended, a CD we purchased all could be laying the foundation for our musicial direction today and in the future.

In May 2009 I asked the members of the EvO:R group to give me a list of the 10 most important songs in their lives. Songs that either inspired them to follow this new direction or songs that paved the way for them to take a new musicial avenue. I was very pleased to see all the responses and as a result I told the group that I would publish the results.
  •  You can read the results here.

    Since this was my idea so I quess I should put in my 3 cents worth and give you a list of the most important songs in my life (and why). So let's get started.

    When I was growing up in the 60's I had a cheap guitar and I learned 3-4 chords. I would listen for songs with those same chord changes so I could play along. You would be amazed at just how many early rock tunes where simple 1-IV-V patterns and I quickly jump to the head of the neighborhood with my vast (lol) guitar skills.

    After a while I simply started trying to write my own material and not try to copy anyone. As a result I developed my own style and sound but along the way a number of songs helped mold me into the player I am today.

     1. Crimson and Clover - Tommy James
    This song used a vibrato on the guitar amp. At the time I had an old Sears amp and it had this same vibrato. I thought that was soooo cool. I must have played that G C D progession until my finger started bleeding. I loved that vibrato.

     2. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zepplin
    WoW...My world changed in early 1970 while I was sitting in my parents car in a parking lot while they went into the Eagle Army Navy store. This song came on the radio and simply blew me away. I had never heard anything like this. I was hooked on Zep. from that day forward. The sound was so thick, you could hardly cut it with a knife. Robert Plants voice was like nothing anyone had ever heard and the guitar riff was something I had never experienced. I spent weeks trying to get that Les Paul sound (and failed).

     3. Freeway Jam - Jeff Beck
    Over the years my guitar playing improved and I was looking for inspiration. Jeff Beck was making a transition from blues based rock to fusion jazz/rock and Freeway Jam was his crossover song on the 'Blow by Blow' album. Jeff Beck told a story with his guitar solos. They where crisp and clean and no longer loaded with "fuzz" so his solos sounded amazing. I studied every note from that song and it helped me to use better phrasing and to let my guitar breath while I played.

     4. Roundabout - Yes
    Progressive Rock was making a move during the mid 70's and Yes was leading the charge. Steve Howe's guitar work was so amazing. He could play anything and Roundabout was proof. Blending a nylon stringed acoustic guitar with a rock-a-billie solo then later adding distortion only to return to the acoustic guitar for more texture was music to my ears. Nothing can touch this song.

     5. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zepplin
    This song has fallen pray to being over played thru the years. This oversaturation may have diminished this songs importance in the world of rock music. Granted, I have no idea what the words mean nor did I ever care. This song simply captivated me from the time I first heard it and I still love it today. The song had so many great elements for a guitar player. Great finger picking, a wonderful 12 string chord structure and then a balls to the wall ending with a guitar solo you can never forget. When I look up the word masterpiece in the dictionary it will have Stairway to Heaven as the meaning.

     6. Bridge of Sighs - Robin Trower
    During my progressive rock era I was hell bent on playing the most complicated material imaginable. I enjoyed radical time signatures and odd meters. My band even played a song that rotated between 15/16, 9/16 and 7/8 just to drive the drummers in the audience crazy.

    On my birthday my sister bought me Robin Trower - Bridge of Sighs and it simply returned me to planet earth musically. Robin Trower did the blues as well as anyone on earth and this album was classic Trower. I needed to get my musicial feet back on the ground and this album did just that.

     7. Utopia - Todd Rundgren
    A huge production from art rocks finest. This album was live on one side with the song 'Utopia' taking up the whole side. Combining jazz-rock, glam-rock, progressive-rock and fusion. Todd was so far ahead of the curve musicially. It's a shame that he'll always be remembered for his lolly pop tunes because he was a true rock genious.

     7. Overture - The Who
    The 'Tommie' album was ground breaking for me because it was a musical masterpiece that went way beyond a collection of 10 or 12 songs. I was so impressed with this album that I bought the music book and tried to learn every note from Pete Townsend. I was never a big fan of Townsend but his understanding of rhythm guitar and how to us space in music was incredible. That song book from 'Tommie' was a huge part of my early years playing guitar.

     8. 2112 - Rush
    I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard this album. I was in a retail store in Miami and the guy running the record department put this record on and cranked up the volume. In minutes the whole store gathered around this music system and listened to the album. He played the whole side of 2112 and when it was over I bought the record and called all my friends. This was the music I dreamed of. I was never the same!

     9. Hold Me Under - Dream Theater
    After my band broke up I got married and put away my guitars and amps for a couple decades. I only pulled them out for the occasional jam session with a few drinking buddies who where happy with covers like Jumpin' Jack Flash (The Stones), Closer to My Home (Grand Funk Railroad) and Taken' care of Business (Bachman Turner Overdrive). These where songs that required minimal practice skill and would still sound good after 6-7 beers . I wasn't motivated by the hair bands of the 80's or the grunge bands that followed. One day I purchased 'Images and Words' by Dream Theater based on a friends recommenation. I was looking for something FRESH and new and this CD was exactly what the doctor ordered. This song revitalized my love of great Progressive Rock and the love of the great musicians that can play this kind of material.

    10. For the Love of God - Steve Via
    Steve Via is without question my favorite guitar player because he humbled me from the first time I heard him. He played the devils guitarist in the movie 'Crossroads' and he revitalized David Coverdale's career with his guitar work on White Snake. But when I listened to his CD "Passion and Warfare' it became clear that this guy was going to be my hero. The song 'For the Love of God' makes the hair on my neck stand up every time I listen to it. It's simply the best!

    END



  • Charlie Harrelson, is the founder of the EvO:R organization as well as the EvO:R website designer. He has worked with countless Independent musicians over the years helping them promote their personal music. Charlie has been fortunate enough to have been asked to play guitar on a number of EvO:R members CD releases. He has also been voted as one of the 12 best undiscovered guitarists by Guitar9.com, a website dedicated to great guitarists all over the world. To learn more about Charlie Harrelson's music visit him on the web at: TL2 on EvO:R.



    Reviews
     I'll start this out by saying Charlie has some great guitar chops. He can do it all, and he does it well. TL2 mixes synthesized backgrounds with killer solo guitar. If you have any love for Steve Vai, you'll like TL2. He has the same way of speaking through his guitar rather than vocally. The guitar sound is great and he uses interesting beats and time signatures to keep things interesting. The mixes are excellent and boast nice production values where you can take in the entirety of the mix, nothing is lost in the booth. This is no triple A rookie, folks, this guys a real pro. Give him a listen.......IUMA Review
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    All CD's are distributed via Peacework Music Network

    TWO
    by TL2
    Released 2006

    Esoteric Visions
    by Quad Cranium
    (featuring TL2)
    Lounge Lizard
    by TL2
    Released 2006
    Tracks Across America
    By Various Artists
    Released 2006