Time flies when you listen to the sweet guitar performance of a virtuoso [B Major – AZ Rock Travel]

[Reporter Choi Woo-gyu]

There was a record store I used to frequent. The owner was deeply versed in music from the 1960s and 70s. He made sampler CDs and distributed them to his regulars. He came home, played the CD, and got stuck in one song with the profanity, & # 39;. I listened to it three times in a row in one sitting. It was really good.

It was a song by British singer-songwriter and guitarist Keith Christmas. Christmas started making music in the 1960s and has been making music for over 50 years. They are the masters of psychedelic folk, armed with creativity that never gets old or worn out.

Christmas was born in 1946 in Wivenhoe, Essex, England. As a child, he listened to his older brother’s collection of blues records. His mother was a Buddy Holly fan. But his interest was drawn to folk music, and he picked up an acoustic guitar.

Christmas entered the architecture department at the prestigious University of Bath in England. While taking classes, he played acoustic guitar and sang in university clubs in Bath and Bristol. His outstanding guitar playing skills and singing skills quickly became known.

Kiss Christmas delivers almost every sound that can be made with an acoustic guitar. Sometimes it can be played plainly, and sometimes it can be played sticky. It fills the negative space without the help of an electronic amplifier. It is played by plucking, plucking, rubbing, and hitting the guitar body.

Producer Sandy Robertson caught the eye. The debut album signed with RCA Records is <Stimulus>. In this album, a treasure of British folk, Christmas’s voice is calm yet delicate. The song is dreamy and sophisticated.

​Kiss Christmas’s <Stimulus> LP.
ⓒ magic bux

Christmas had no studio recording experience. He traveled back and forth from Bristol to London, a two-hour drive away, for recording. Mighty Baby, a psychedelic rock band that was popular at the time, served as accompaniment.

The first song on the album, ‘Traveling Down’, is a nostalgic and affectionate song. The hook (a memorable part that is repeated) that catches your ear once you hear it is attractive. In the second song ‘Bedsit Two Step’, the vocals are high and delicate as if soft. It is reminiscent of the band Queen’s ‘Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon’.

The third piece, “Roundabout,” is a performance song. Pluck the acoustic guitar strings freely. However, he is not as fast as Al Di Meola or goes to flashy extremes like Tommy Emmanuel. It’s a delicious performance, like ripe fruit wine. The fourth song, ‘Ice Man’, has a different song flow from the general pop progression. It’s an unfamiliar but enjoyable taste between psychedelic and folk. The electric guitar solo that comes in the middle adds to the solidity of the sound.

In this album too, my preference is towards the B side. The first song is a hidden masterpiece, ‘I Know You Can’t Lose’. It smells like country rock. Whether it’s Willie Nelson, the Eagles, or Joni Mitchell, it would be perfect for anyone to add their voice.

The third song is ‘Trial & Trial & Judgment’. It lasts 9 minutes and 40 seconds. The song starts like any other folk rock. An acoustic guitar solo begins in the middle. “Listen carefully. It’s like, “This is my brothers’ performance.”When I listen to it, it feels like 9 minutes are deleted in an instant.

▲ Back of Kiss Christmas debut album Stimulus British psychedelic folk masters Kiss Christmas debut album Stimulus back
ⓒ Choi Woo-gyu

Christmas released his second album, Fable of the Wings, in 1970, and performed on stage at the Glastonbury Festival for the first time that year. In 1971, he appeared in <Keith Christmas> and <Pigmy> released an album. In 1972, the writers of Sounds magazine selected Christmas as one of the six most popular guitarists in the world. The Christmas trick is the acoustic guitar, but the electric guitar skills are just as good.

Requests for help from artists poured in. If you look at the list, it is definitely a Rock Hall of Fame. the Who, Ten Years After, Argent, Frank Zappa, King Crimson, the Kinks, Captain Beefheart, Roxy Music (Roxy Music), etc.

Christmas encountered David Bowie in 1968. Bowie ran the Beckenham Arts Lab, an alternative cultural center in London. Christmas was invited there to play, and Bowie was fascinated.

Bowie recorded <Space Oddity> I was recording an album. Bowie took Christmas to the studio. There was no rehearsal. He just played a few songs. Christmas played guitar to it. In that way, he created <Space Oddity> From the album, ‘Letter to Hermione, God Knows I’m Good, Occasional Dream’ Three songs included Christmas performances.

Christmas became friendly with King Crimson bassist and vocalist Boz Burrell. When King Crimson performed with <Islands> in 1971, Christmas was a guest performer. Burrell had a difficult relationship with King Crimson leader Robert Fripp. Burrell got a Christmas car to get away from Fripp. At the same time, he told me a lot about music and life stories.

At that time, Christmas lived three lives. A member of a large band at a large concert hall, a folk singer sweeping the University of Bristol, and an architect. He retired from the music world in the 1980s and continued his construction-related business, but returned in the 1990s without forgetting his music.

The sound has become slightly hoarse with age, but the pitch has not changed. The guitar playing added maturity. He contemplates life while criticizing absurdity and absurd politics through song. From folk to blues to psychedelic, this veteran continues to share his voice and performances with the world.

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