band of three guitar players founded in 1991. The three—Paul Richards of Salt Lake City, Utah, Bert Lams of Affligem, Belgium, and Hideyo Moriya of Tokyo, Japan—met at a 1987 Guitar Craft course, in which Robert Fripp instructed them in the New Standard Tuning (NST). After completing several of Fripp's Guitar Craft courses, the three toured as part of Robert Fripp and The League of Crafty Guitarists.
Continuing their collaboration then in Los Angeles, they founded The California Guitar Trio in 1991. They continue to play in the New Standard Tuning. Their performances and recordings include original compositions, surf covers, and classical re-workings of classical music. Their influences include European classical music, rock, blues, jazz, world music, and surf music.
The Trio's music was featured during the television coverage of the 1998 and 2000 Olympic Games. It has been featured on CBS, NBC, CNN WorldBeat, and ESPN TV programs. They performed on the 2003 Grammy Awards-nominated track "Apollo" on Tony Levin's CD Pieces of the Sun. CGT music served as wake-up music for the crew aboard NASA’s Space Shuttle Endeavour.
The California Guitar Trio performed as an opening act for King Crimson, from which bassist Tony Levin and drummer Pat Mastelotto regularly join the CGT for live shows. CGT has shared the stage with many performancers, including the following: John McLaughlin, David Sylvian, Tito Puente, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Adrian Legg, Adrian Belew, Jon Anderson.
The Trio has released 16 albums: seven studio CDs featuring original
CGT songs and a variety of other works spanning numerous genres, four
live releases, and a Christmas CD with Christmas music. Lams has also
made a solo album of Bach preludes titled Nascent.
In August 2004 they released Whitewater, which was produced by
Tony Levin. It features mainly original works of the CGT, offset by a
puzzle-work arrangement of a Bach lute suite and a mashup of "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky" with The Doors' "Riders on the Storm." This was followed in 2008 by Echoes, an album composed entirely of covers, and 2010's Andromeda,
the band's first release to consist entirely of original material. The
2012 release Masterworks is an all classical music compilation featuring
music by Beethoven, Bach, Vivaldi, Rossini and Part. Chicago guitar
virtuoso Fareed Haque played on Vivaldi's Winter, and Tony Levin played
upright bass and cello on four tracks.
The California Guitar Trio's Invitation is their follow-up to their excellent debut, Yamanashi Blues.
What sets the albums apart is that there is more original material on
this release, and it also contains the first appearance of electric
guitar on a C.G.T. album. The opening "Train to Lamy" features
distorted, buzzing electric slide guitar, which is a sharp contrast to
the clean sound of the dueling acoustic guitars. The song is spread
throughout the album, starting out with the first three sewn together,
while its fourth and fifth sections are heard later on (with a reprise
of part three closing the album). The trio again offers spirited
versions of cover songs, spanning several different musical styles.
Included is the spaghetti western classic "The Good, the Bad and the
Ugly" by Ennio Morricone,
the surf-rocker "Apache" (originally done by legendary British '60s
instrumentalists the Shadows), as well as two J.S. Bach compositions
("Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" and "Prelude Circulation"). Nearly as
good as their debut, and highly recommended to any aficionado of
1. Train To Lamy Suite (Parts 1-3) (4:23)
2. Punta Patri (4:19)
3. Toccata And Fugue In D Minor (7:51)
4. Fratres (6:28)
5. Train To Lamy Part 4 (0:27)
6. Apache (3:00)
7. Train To Lamy Part 5 (2:04)
8. Above The Clouds (5:30)
9. Prelude Circulation (2:44)
10. The Good The Bad And The Ugly (2:36)
11. Train To Lamy Part 3 (Reprise) (1:24)
Total Time: 40:46
Line-up / Musicians
- Bert Lams / guitars
- Hideyo Moriya / guitars
- Paul Richards / guitars
- Trey Gunn / grand Stick
- Fernando Kabusacki / guitar
- Hernan Nunez / guitar
- Martin Schwutke / guitar
- Steve Ball / guitar