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Beck, Beards and Bryant = Guitar Magic

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Jeff Beck and his “singing” guitar.

It Was Guitar Magic

The sun was beginning to set when Tyler Bryant took the stage at the St Augustine Amphitheater Saturday. Tyler, a native of Texas, began playing while he was in elementary school. Not new to touring, at 11 years old Tyler began touring with Texas Blues legend Roosevelt Twitty. This hard playing rock and roller hit the stage with abandon and with only two guitars on stage with him, the sound was incredible. Tyler shred his guitar with solos that were slammin’, bammin’, thank you mammin’ bringing the audience to their feet.

“It is my job to make sure you are ready for a Rock and Roll show!” he shouted to the crowd and the audience went crazy.

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Tyler Bryant Young and wildly amazing.

Not new to legends of rock and roll, Tyler has played with Pat Benatar, Heart and B.B. King. Although he played less than six songs Saturday night, Bryant did his job and fulfilled his duty pumping up the audience. He left the stage with the respect of everyone who heard him play.

Vicki Stewart traveled from Jax Beach to see the show. “We have been following Tyler for four years now,” she said as she admired the autographed cd she just picked up. “I just spoke to him and he said he is going back into the studio when the tour is over.”

Jeff Beck took to the stage playing the familiar white Stratocaster and the big screen behind him showed the close-up shot as his fingers flew across the fret board. This legendary guitarist was there in the 1960’s when music was taking another course and Beck hung onto the train and never jumped off.

Jeff Beck is known as one of the most talented and influential guitarists in the world. During his almost 50 year career, Beck has played alongside some of the greatest artists of the century. With eight Grammy Awards to his credit, Beck has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame not once but two times.

Bringing his smooth, cool style to St Augustine on Saturday night Beck took his playing to another level with his rendition of “Morning Dew.” The guitar seemed like an entity to itself as it screamed,wailed and whined . On Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing” Beck made the guitar cry like only Beck and Hendrix can, showing us all why electric guitar was created.

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ZZ Top struts along.

Bassist Rhonda Smith, gave the boys a run for their money with her smoking bass solo. Joining Beck for vocals was Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie fame. Hall did what he knew best..he sang his heart out with soul on every song. His kick-a** rendition of “Superstitious” would make little Stevie Wonder proud, some say he is the best “white” R & B singer alive.

ZZ Top strutted on stage…three guys with “Cheap Sunglasses” and from the back of the venue they were most definitely the loudest three musicians in the business. Bringing their old favorites; “Gimme All Your Lovin’” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Legs” had Billy Gibbons hitting the guitar showing off his raspy voice with the pure Texas kick-it music.

With Gibbons performing some amazing guitar solos and Hall playing bass behind him, ZZ Top showed their talents and why a broken hip couldn’t keep them down. Ironically enough, the drummer, the only band member who doesn’t sport a chest-length beard is named Beard and he was quite a talent. Made up of rhythm and hitting that beat hard, it made you wonder how he could ever play the drums with the beard.

Three screens in the back were there to accent the music with some good old MTV Videos. Everything was on the screen especially if it was in Texas. Everything from horses, ladies, legs and oh yeah…cars.. were splashed onto the screens while the two front men danced, strutted and swayed in harmony showing what over thirty years together can do.


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