Toulouse Engelhardt releases "Toulousology" on May 8
Career spanning anthology from the Segovia of Surf!
Guitar instrumentalist, composer and humorist Toulouse Engelhardt, the celebrated guitar virtuoso, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has lived immersed in Southern California beach culture for much of the past four decades. Over the years Engelhardt has earned accolades from serious critics of the guitar and the public alike for his lightning-fast guitar stylings and colorful, cinematic melodies. He was the last original member of the so-called "Takoma Seven," the highly celebrated innovators of finger-style guitar that recorded for Takoma Records from 1965 to 1976 and included John Fahey and Leo Kottke. Today many in the music industry believe that Engelhardt deserves a place among the elite group of legendary guitar masters.
"TOULOUSOLOGY" is his dynamic new audio retrospective which will be available on May 8 via MVD Entertainment Group. Spanning forty years of the artist's career, this monumental collection of seventeen milestone recordings were chosen by music critics and fans alike and re-mastered from the original recordings dating back from 1976 to 2009. The results unequivocally capture his finest moments in the studio and in "live" performance.
Fire in O'Doodlee's Popcorn Factory
Revelations at Lunada Bay
"Toullusions" of Anji
Young Goodman Brown joined the Confederacy Today
River Eclectium: Xel-Ha..."Where the Waters are Born"
River Eclectium: Let the River Answer
River Eclectium: Deep River
Mosrite Devotion: Pressed Hams
Mosrite Devotion: Beavers in a Hot Tub!
Mosrite Devotion: Autopia
Melting Stars...Breathing Heavens
Air to the Quiver of Angel Wings
Third Stone from the Sun
Fire in O'Doodlee's Popcorn Factory (Live)
Engelhardt began playing the guitar at the young age of six. His earliest influences were the "wet" driving instrumental sounds of surf music, but he soon found this limiting his musical evolution, so he proceeded to search out more sophisticated musical stylings. "I grew up with a 'Ventures Model' Mosrite guitar in my hands," offers the guitar wiz, who chose to purchase Dick Dale's "The Wedge" over the Beatles "She Loves You." He claims to have had just two guitar lessons in his life: One was from guitar great Larry Carlton, who taught him how to play "Walk Don't Run" by the Ventures; the other was from legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. According to Engelhardt, "Back when I was just turning thirteen, Wes gave me a few tips in technique at the backstage door of the famous Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach, California at one o'clock in the morning!"
Compositions by Toulouse Engelhardt are hard to classify. Each tune is arranged for six- or twelve-string guitar, Mosrite "surf" guitar, or ensemble. Every song penned or arranged by Engelhardt is created in his signature writing style, the "tone poem," an impressionistic, almost cinematic technique used by only a handful of composers and arrangers. For years, music critics have tried in vain to classify the "Toulouse Sound," a collage of musical stylings based in traditional Americana, acoustic blues, ragtime, and the "wet" surf sounds of the early 1960s, mixed with a touch of World Beat! To achieve his distinctive sound, Engelhardt relies on a large arsenal of guitars. In concert he performs with a custom made Art Davis twelve-string from San Diego's A. Davis Guitars, a Taylor 855 Jumbo twelve-string, a Martin D-28-12, and finally his "rosebud of choice," the Mosrite "Ventures Model" surf guitar. "Each instrument has a personality of its own," says the famed guitarist. "The challenge for me is to bring out the best in each of their individual personalities."
Engelhardt has had two critically-acclaimed record releases: the first, the classic 1975 vinyl album Toullusions, released through Takoma Records, a milestone label that showcased the finest in fingerstyle guitar innovators, among them Leo Kottke and John Fahey; and more recently, the 1994 CD re-release of Toullusions with four bonus tracks, for Sierra/Hollywood Records, a Walt Disney Company, distributed worldwide by PolyGram International.
In 2010, Engelhardt released "Perpendicular Worlds," a collection of thirteen spellbinding masterworks for six and twelve string acoustic guitar. Integrating folk, jazz, classical and rock idioms into an acoustic synthesis of brilliant solo guitar performances, this album transcended genres in a tableau of imaginative, string visions, showcasing Engelhardt's musical evolution as one of the world's finest masters of the acoustic guitar.